“Can I eat chicken salad while pregnant?”
You may be very fond of this dish before your pregnancy. And now, you wonder if it is still safe for you.
Well, for the most part, it is all about the source. Whether you are making a chicken salad at home or order at a restaurant, you need to know the quality of chicken used.
Some may only use chicken from a questionable source, which you are definitely better off without.
So, let us learn more about this dish, any risks involving it, and what you can do that is safe and healthy for you.
What Is In Your Chicken Salad?
Chicken salad is a popular quick bite.
If is usually in a sandwich or salad form.
You can easily find one at your favorite restaurant or even make one at home.
But regardless of where you get your chicken salad, you need to pay close attention to what goes into this sandwich. After all, there are many risks when it comes to safety, especially when it is prepared the wrong way.
For instance, the store-bought chicken may pose health risks to pregnant women. This is true when you consume one that is unhealthy or with bacteria in it.
The same issue involves the other things you put in your salad such as your lettuce, mayo, and other veggies.
Home-Made Chicken Salad Safety Practices
Let’s say you would rather make chicken salad at home. How can you ensure the safety of this dish?
First, you need to really wash your veggies and greens carefully. These things may contain bacteria and chemicals, particularly when not organic. This is why a thorough washing is essential to avoid ingesting these substances.
If you plan on buying pre-packed salad greens, be sure these are indeed safe. There is a risk of infection with e-coli and listeria with these bagged salads. Thus, you are better off preparing your salads yourself. Buy fresh ones, wash them, and cut them up to prevent risks of contamination.
Now, as for the chicken, it should be stored and prepared properly. If it is home-cooked, make sure you store it in your refrigerator properly. Once it is already cooked, do not wait longer than 2 or 3 days before you use it.
Also, think about the salad dressing you use. When it comes to Caesar salad dressing, keep in mind that it often has raw egg. Unfortunately, unpasteurized is not ideal for pregnant women. The same applies to mayonnaise from this source. So, you may either skip out on the Caesar dressing or go for one that is from a pasteurized egg.
What to Do Before You Order Chicken Salad at a Restaurant
Ordering from a restaurant can get trickier.
It is usually tougher to determine the quality of ingredients they use for your chicken salad. You can ask about their sources but you don’t really see how they prepare your order.
But for the most part, higher-end restaurants generally ensure proper practices when preparing their chicken salad. They usually cater to their customers by making sure that they serve their meats steaming hot. This way, it should kill the bacteria more effectively.
We also recommend that you eat chicken that is processed in a factory instead of the grocery store.
Because generally, listeria grows in cold conditions. This is why if the chicken salad is refrigerated, this increases the risk of cross-contamination. In-store are not as good as a factory or commercial-made ones.
Overall, though, homemade is still the safer option. You have much better control over the ingredients you use. You can cook your chicken completely and use pasteurized mayo instead of the unhealthier option.
Should You Eat Canned Chicken?
Some people use fresh chicken and prepare it themselves.
While others opt for the canned version since it is more convenient. It is also ready to go, which means you should be able to just open the can and pour out the contents into your mixing bowl.
But again, you should check carefully the meat in the can. For instance, it should be from a BPA-free can. You would not want to use one from a chemical-laden can that is absolutely unsafe for you to eat.
Cooking your store-bought chicken and preparing it yourself is a lot of work. You need to clean and roast it, then cut it up to chunks for your chicken salad. Now, this can be a lot of work if you are a busy mom. Also, storing the chicken properly can also be tricky.
You certainly would not want to store the chicken in the fridge for a long time. Otherwise, the risk of contamination increases by doing so. The rule of thumb is to use the cooked chicken in a couple of days. When stored longer, it can be quite unsafe for you to consume.
Additional Things to Consider When Eating Chicken Salad
Chicken salad is a popular sandwich among many people.
But if you are pregnant and want to eat it, there are healthier options to consider.
For instance, you can consider making this dish yourself. By doing so, you can control the ingredients and prevent contamination.
Buying and preparing the chicken at home may be a laborious task. However, if you implement correct practices, you can be sure it is absolutely safe to use.
The same holds true with your greens. You can buy these at an organic market and choose fresh ones that are free from chemicals. Then, wash these greens very well to effectively remove nasty substances that are unsafe for your body.
As for the dressing, you should steer clear from those from a questionable source. This means that you should only stick to pasteurized eggs for the mayo and pasteurized milk for the cheese.
By applying these techniques, you can continue to enjoy eating a chicken salad without the health risks.
If you want to learn more about different chicken salad variations you can prepare at home, this cool video has loads of recipes and tips for you!