Food Checker Pregnancy

Can You Eat Pepperoni While Pregnant? (Cooked, Cold, Pizza)

Tasty, comforting, and a great pizza topping, there’s a good reason why pepperoni is popular the world over.

But can you eat pepperoni while pregnant, or is it best avoided during pregnancy like alcohol, beef jerky or less cooked meat?

The short answer is pregnant women are advised to only eat cooked pepperoni, because this helps mitigate the risk of listeria bacteria or other parasites such as toxoplasma.

In addition, pepperoni is a processed meat product, and pregnant women are generally advised to limit their intake of processed meats due to potential risks associated with additives, preservatives, and high sodium content.

Can You Eat Cold Pepperoni When Pregnant?

When pregnant, it’s generally advisable to exercise caution with certain types of foods to minimize the risk of foodborne illnesses.

Cold pepperoni, like other processed or deli meats, may carry a risk of contamination, particularly with bacteria such as listeria.

Listeria is a bacterium that can cause listeriosis, a serious illness that can lead to severe complications during pregnancy.

To mitigate this risk, pregnant women are advised to avoid cold pepperoni and instead opt for heated pepperoni, ensuring that the bacterium is eradicated through proper cooking.

pepperoni meat on plate

Can You Eat Cooked Pepperoni When Pregnant?

If you are craving some tasty pepperoni while pregnant, the good news is that it’s not completely off the menu.

That’s because proper heating can eliminate or significantly reduce the risk of harmful bacteria, including listeria.

Just make sure you don’t overdo it because pepperoni is high in saturated fat, sodium, and calories, so it’s best consumed in moderation as part of a balanced diet.

Can You Eat Pepperoni Pizza When Pregnant?

Yes, because pizza is typically baked in a hot oven (or reheated in your microwave), the pepperoni on a pizza is fine for pregnant women to eat, provided it’s fully cooked.

But as we mentioned, pepperoni is far from the healthiest food out there, so it’s a good idea to only eat cooked pepperoni or pepperoni pizza in moderation.

However, with mindful choices, such as opting for a pizza with high-quality ingredients and a moderate serving size, the craving for pepperoni pizza can be satisfied without compromising your health.

Related: Can I Eat Pepperoni Pizza From Domino’s While Pregnant?

pepperoni pizza on white plate

Tips For Safely Eating Pepperoni While Pregnant

Here are some guidelines for pregnant women regarding the consumption of pepperoni:

  1. Moderation: If you crave pepperoni, it’s okay to enjoy it occasionally, but moderation is key. Eating it in small amounts reduces the potential risks associated with processed meats.
  2. Ensure Proper Cooking: Make sure that the pepperoni is properly cooked. Heating it thoroughly can help eliminate or reduce the risk of harmful bacteria, including listeria.
  3. Check Ingredients: Read labels carefully and choose high-quality pepperoni with minimal additives and preservatives. Opt for products that use natural ingredients and avoid those with excessive sodium content.
  4. Consult with a Healthcare Professional: As individual circumstances may vary, it’s a good idea to consult with your healthcare professional for personalized advice during pregnancy, especially as this advice will be based on your individual health and medical history.


Like other cured meats, pepperoni is technically classified as a raw food.

That means that you should avoid eating it cold because there’s a chance it could contain bacteria that can harm your developing baby.

However, the good news is that cooked pepperoni is fine.

So when that pizza craving hits, you can be safe in the knowledge that you can go ahead and tuck in, although it’s best not to make it a daily occurrence, but rather part of a balanced diet that includes plenty of vegetables, whole grains, protein, and healthy fats.

Must Read: Your Guide To A Happy & Healthy Pregnancy

Nick is a passionate dad who co-founded Rockinbaby to share his parenting journey with other new parents. He has a BSc and MBA, and works as a senior marketing professional. In his spare time Nick loves watching sports, staying fit and traveling. Learn more about Nick here.

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