Can You Eat A Reuben When Pregnant?

Last Updated on May 26, 2024 by Marjorie R. Rogers

Yes, you can eat a Reuben sandwich when pregnant, but with some precautions. The key is to ensure the meat is thoroughly cooked to eliminate any risk of foodborne illnesses like listeriosis.

Pregnancy cravings can be intense, and a delicious Reuben sandwich might be one of them. While it’s generally safe to indulge in this classic sandwich during pregnancy, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind to ensure the health and safety of both the mother and the developing baby.

What is Reuben?

A Reuben is a grilled sandwich made with corned beef, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and Russian or Thousand Island dressing, typically served on rye bread. It’s a beloved deli classic that combines savory, tangy, and rich flavors in every bite.

Nutritional Value of Reuben

Nutritional ValueDetails
ProteinCorned beef and Swiss cheese provide high-quality protein.
CarbohydratesRye bread and sauerkraut contribute complex carbohydrates.
VitaminsSauerkraut is a good source of vitamin C and other nutrients.
MineralsCorned beef and rye bread contain essential minerals like iron and zinc.

Risks of Eating Reuben During Pregnancy

ListeriaDeli meats like corned beef can harbor listeria bacteria if not cooked properly.
High SodiumCorned beef and sauerkraut are high in sodium, which can contribute to water retention and high blood pressure during pregnancy.
Heartburn and IndigestionThe rich ingredients in a Reuben can trigger heartburn and indigestion, common issues during pregnancy.

Safe Ways to Eating Reuben During Pregnancy

To enjoy a Reuben safely during pregnancy, ensure the corned beef is thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) or higher. This will kill any potential listeria bacteria. Additionally, opt for a smaller portion size to limit sodium intake and reduce the risk of heartburn or indigestion.

Alternatives to Reuben During Pregnancy

Turkey or Veggie ReubenChoose lean turkey or vegetarian protein sources to reduce sodium and fat content.
Open-Faced ReubenHave an open-faced version to cut down on bread and overall portion size.
Reuben SaladEnjoy the flavors in a salad form, using cooked corned beef and skipping the bread.

Experts Tips

  1. “Pregnant women should avoid consuming deli meats like corned beef unless they are thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) or higher.”
  2. “Limit your sodium intake during pregnancy to no more than 2,300 milligrams per day to prevent water retention and high blood pressure.”
  3. “If you experience heartburn or indigestion after eating a Reuben, try smaller portions or opt for an open-faced version to reduce the amount of rich ingredients.”


Can I eat a cold Reuben sandwich during pregnancy?

No, it’s not recommended to eat cold deli meats like corned beef during pregnancy due to the risk of listeria. The meat should be thoroughly cooked to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) or higher.

Is it safe to eat sauerkraut during pregnancy?

Yes, sauerkraut is generally safe to consume during pregnancy. It’s a good source of probiotics and nutrients like vitamin C.

Can eating too much sodium during pregnancy harm the baby?

Excessive sodium intake during pregnancy can lead to water retention, swelling, and high blood pressure, which can potentially affect the baby’s growth and development.

Are there any alternatives to a traditional Reuben sandwich during pregnancy?

Yes, you can try a turkey or veggie Reuben, an open-faced version, or a Reuben salad to reduce the risk of listeria and limit sodium and fat intake.

Can I eat a Reuben sandwich after giving birth?

Yes, once you’ve given birth, you can enjoy a Reuben sandwich without the same precautions as during pregnancy, as long as you’re not breastfeeding.


While a Reuben sandwich can be a tempting craving during pregnancy, it’s important to take the necessary precautions to ensure the safety of both the mother and the developing baby. By thoroughly cooking the corned beef, limiting portion sizes, and considering healthier alternatives, expectant mothers can indulge in this classic sandwich while minimizing potential risks.

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