Doner Kebab When Pregnant: Is It Safe to Eat?

Doner kebab during pregnancy
Doner kebab during pregnancy

Expectant mothers often face dietary problems due to conflicting advice on safe and unsafe foods during pregnancy. Even seemingly innocuous meals like doner kebabs can complicate matters. However, knowing whether foods are right or wrong can have significant effects on the health of the mother and fetus. To learn about the consequences of eating doner kebabs during pregnancy, read on.

Doner Kebab

Doner Kebab, a popular Turkish fast food that has captured taste buds around the world, consists of grilled meat cooked on a vertical spit. It is made with beef, lamb, or chicken and served in pita bread or wraps with vegetables and various sauces.

Nutritional Value of Doner Kebab

A potential source of protein, the doner kebab comes with a caveat: the calories and fat are equally significant. Whether a person considers adding it to their diet or not should depend on the nature and quantity of consumption as it largely depends on factors such as the quality of the meat and the accompanying sauces. It should not be overlooked that most packages containing doner meat are very high in calories, around 1000, of which up to 50 grams are attributed solely to saturated fat.

Is Doner Kebab Safe During Pregnancy?

Expecting mothers must approach the subject of eating doner kebab during pregnancy with caution because this delicacy – like any other type of meat – may harbor dangerous bacteria that can lead to common food-borne illnesses such as toxoplasmosis, salmonella, or listeria. However, there are several considerations related to maternal health status which impact the overall risk level in any given eventuality.

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While the risk of bacterial infections from eating doner kebabs can be reduced by cooking them thoroughly and serving them piping hot, proper storage and preparation techniques should also be used to minimize the possibility of contamination. 

The Risks of Eating Uncooked Doner Kebab When Pregnant

A key precaution that all pregnant women should take is to avoid undercooked or undercooked doner kebabs due to potential bacterial exposure. Eating contaminated meat may expose them and their fetuses to listeria, a harmful bacteria whose effects range from feverish symptoms in the mother to stillbirth in some cases.

1. Salmonella Infection

Immunosuppression caused by pregnancy increases the chance of developing salmonellosis – a bacterial pathogenesis that ends in gastroenteritis. A person who is likely to have been contaminated by eating food has symptoms such as stomach pain, diarrhea with bloody stools, or vomiting that indicate a Salmonella infection.

2. Listeria Infection

Infections caused by pathogenic strains of Listeria bacteria are still one of the main concerns of expectant mothers because they can cause significant damage if left untreated. Potential complications range from premature birth with complications to fetal death through stillbirth or abortion. Symptoms such as fever, intestinal problems, and myalgia should be observed to diagnose an infection if such symptoms occur.

3. Toxoplasmosis Infection

Undercooked meat carries with it the potential hazard of contracting toxoplasmosis – a parasitic infection known to produce severe congenital malformations or stillbirth in infants born to infected pregnant women. Clinical presentations signifying toxoplasmosis could manifest as feverish signs evocative of influenza-like illness, myalgias, or increased lymphatic tissue.

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The Benefits of Eating Cooked Doner Kebab When Pregnant

Donor kebab may have risks when consumed by pregnant mothers, but on the other hand, due to its protein content, it can serve as a valuable dietary supplement. The importance of protein during pregnancy cannot be understated as it supports fetal growth and tissue repair for pregnant women.

How to Safely Enjoy Doner Kebab During Pregnancy

If you have a craving for doner kebab during pregnancy, you can take precautions to enjoy this delicious food safely.

1. Choose a reputable restaurant

For those planning to go out for dinner or lunch, it is very important to choose a restaurant that is known for its impeccable food safety and hygiene standards. Look specifically for those that follow strict instructions on how to use their ingredients during the preparation and cooking process while ensuring that all meat products are well prepared before serving.

2. Ensure that the meat is cooked thoroughly

Thorough cooking and piping hot serving temperatures are crucial components to guaranteeing the integrity of meat-based dishes. To kill off potentially harmful bacteria, it is advised that the meat be cooked until its interior reaches no less than 165°F (74°C).

3. Avoid sauces that may contain raw eggs

It is recommended that food consumers exercise caution when selecting condiments and dressings such as aioli, mayonnaise, or hollandaise as they are often made with raw eggs- a common carrier of salmonella. Choosing prepared varieties that undergo cooking processes could lower the risks associated with consumption.

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4. Avoid salad and other uncooked vegetables

Salad and other uncooked vegetables can also increase the risk of foodborne illnesses. If possible, choose cooked vegetables instead.

5. Eat in moderation

It is necessary to be cautious in consuming doner kebabs because of their treatment and high consumption. To maintain a daily diet, one should choose smaller portions or share a meal with another person.


Can I eat doner kebab during my first trimester?

In the case that doner kebab is cooked completely and served to steaming hot, it is generally deemed acceptable to consume during pregnancy, even in the initial trimester.

Can I eat a doner kebab from a food truck during pregnancy?

It’s best to avoid eating from food trucks while pregnant, as they may not follow proper food safety practices.

Can I eat a vegetarian doner kebab during pregnancy?

As long as it is cooked thoroughly, it is generally considered safe to consume vegetarian doner kebab with vegetables or by mouth during pregnancy.

Can I eat a doner kebab with garlic sauce during pregnancy?

As long as pasteurized ingredients are used, garlic sauce is safe for pregnant women.

Can doner kebab cause miscarriage?

Though doner kebab per se may not directly trigger a miscarriage, its consumption in raw or contaminated form can heighten the susceptibility towards acquiring foodborne illnesses culminating in a miscarriage.


To enjoy a doner kebab during pregnancy, it is important to take adequate precautions. Among them, we can mention the complete cooking of meat. In addition, pregnant women need to monitor their intake due to possible health consequences if they consume too much food.

  1. I’ve been craving doner kebab like crazy! I know they say to avoid processed meats when you’re pregnant, but I figure a doner kebab every once in a while can’t hurt.

  2. My midwife said to make sure any doner kebab I eat is thoroughly cooked, to reduce the risk of getting sick from bacteria. So far I’ve had no issues indulging my doner cravings!

  3. I know they say limit intake of deli meats when expecting, but doner kebab is totally different right? There’s no way I could go nine months without my favorite late night snack!

  4. I was worried about the sodium and nitrates in doner meat, so I started getting the veggie doner kebab instead. It definitely hits the spot when I’m having a doner craving

  5. Does anyone else fear the judgmental looks when you order a doner while clearly very pregnant? I know deli meats aren’t really recommended but come on, it’s not like I’m chugging wine over here! This baby wants doner and I am happy to oblige

  6. Does anyone have good doner kebab heartburn remedies to recommend? I’ve tried drinking milk and taking Tums after but I still feel the burn later on. It’s worth it for those juicy meat slices though

  7. I found out that the risk with doner kebabs is more about the risk of food poisoning from undercooked meat, which can be harmful during pregnancy. I still enjoyed my kebabs, but only from places I trusted to cook the meat well

  8. I had a major doner kebab craving in my third trimester. My midwife said it was fine as long as the meat was thoroughly cooked and hot

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