Pregnant? Want to Eat at Subway? What You Need to Know | Pregnancy Food Checker (2024)

Last Updated on September 22, 2021

Eating out or grabbing a quick bite on the go should be just as easy when you’re pregnant. Since Subway is in so many towns and cities around the world, it’d be good to know if you can eat there, right?

There are a couple of things to remember if you want to eat at Subway, as the majority of their sandwiches contain deli meat and other ingredients that need to be handled differently.

Can Pregnant Women Eat At Subway? Subway sandwiches are safe for pregnant women to eat if they’re heated until hot, rather than just warm. This means either microwaved for a few seconds or having the sandwich toasted – sometimes a little more than normal.

The American Pregnancy Association says to avoid eating deli meat sandwiches at places that don’t heat up the meat. They also recommend you choose other fillings where possible at Subway (source: APA). In the UK, the recommendations are slightly less restrictive on cold meat fillings, but you might want to be extra careful and follow the APA guidance.

Covered in this Article:

What Pregnant Women Should Know About Eating at Subway

The reason you have to be more careful with Subway sandwiches is two-fold:

First, many Subway sandwiches contain deli meat, which has to be heated up until hot to eliminate any potential for listeria contamination (for more on specific deli meats, what the risks are and what to do with them at home too, check out my guide to deli meat in pregnancy).

Second, the salads at Subway are a mixture of items that are pre-sliced and bagged (like the lettuce), and ones that are sliced in-store (like the tomatoes). This may also differ from location to location, as each store is an individual Franchise.

Unless you’re washing it yourself at home, it’s generally a good idea to avoid bagged salad due to the same potential for listeria contamination.

If you want to eat Subway sandwiches safely when you’re pregnant, you can – if you make a couple of extra requests about heating and toasting.

Can Pregnant Women Eat Subway Sandwiches if They’re Toasted?

Pregnant women can eat many types of sandwiches at Subway IF they’re heated up until hot, not just warm. Heating up sandwich fillings like deli meat and/or salad kills listeria if the temperature goes above 165F, or 75C.

As a general rule, this is called ‘steaming hot’ temperatures, so you have a visual cue as to how hot the filling has to be if you’re not measuring it with a culinary thermometer.

Depending on how hot the machine is set and how long your sandwich is toasted, Subway may not automatically get your sandwich filling steaming hot. I reached out to them and their official stance is that pregnant women should either opt for non-deli meat options or ask for the deli meat to be heated more than usual.

Making a Special Request Subway Sandwich When You’re Pregnant

If the Subway sandwich you really want to eat contains deli meat or pre-bagged salad leaves like lettuce, ask for the filling to be heated up in the microwave first, until ‘steaming hot’. This only usually takes about 20-30 seconds, and most Subway branches have a microwave and will be happy to do this for you.

Alternatively, you can also ask for the sandwich contents to be toasted either more than once, or for a little longer or hotter than usual. Again, the goal here is to get the filling steaming hot.

Of course, lettuce doesn’t do very well when it’s heated, so you might want to swap this out for something else just as nutritious and tasty, like bell peppers.

Treat the special request as a ‘medical request’ and Subway staff should be fine with it. Back in 2016 a Subway employee refused to heat up a sandwich, more for time-saving reasons than it having anything to do with pregnancy. However, after the story hit the news, Subway commented that they had ‘re-trained’ their staff.

This means that these days it’s likely Subway staff know and understand that pregnant women need their deli meat heated up. If they don’t know, speak to the staff or the manager (or show them this article!) so that they understand the reasons why it’s important.

If all this sounds like a pain to do, the ‘least hassle’ option at Subway is to stick to non-deli meat fillings like tuna, steak and cheese, or meatball, according to the American Pregnancy Association (source: APA). A list of good pregnancy options at Subway is covered later on in this article, below.

Can Pregnant Women Eat Tuna at Subway?

Subway’s tuna sandwiches (usually tuna mayo) are fine for pregnant women to eat. If you’re adding salad, stick to the items that are prepped in-store, like the peppers, cucumbers and onions, rather than the lettuce, which is pre-prepared and bagged offsite.

Then, you can eat the sandwich cold, as the filling won’t contain bagged salad or deli meat.

According to their sourcing policy, Subway only uses skipjack and yellowfin tuna in their sandwiches. This is good news for pregnant women, as these are two types that are not particularly high in mercury – especially skipjack. Tuna is safe in pregnancy if you keep an eye on your intake due to mercury levels.

For help on this, you might want to read this Complete Guide to Tuna in Pregnancy.

Is Subway’s Mayonnaise Pasteurized?

Subway uses mayonnaise made from pasteurized eggs, so the mayonnaise at Subway is safe for pregnant women to eat. This includes any pre-mixed fillings like tuna mayo, or having mayonnaise added on as a sauce at the end with your chosen sandwich filling.

The same applies to Subway’s sauces and dressings that they offer to put on your salad or sandwich, such as Caesar, buffalo, ranch and so on. They’re all safe to eat in pregnancy.

Is The Cheese at Subway Pasteurized?

All the cheese varieties you can get at Subway, including American cheese, Swiss, cheddar, provolone, feta, pepperjack and mozzarella are all made from pasteurized milk, or are hard/processed cheeses that are pregnancy-safe (source: Subway). All these types of cheese at Subway are safe to eat when you’re pregnant.

If you’re a fan of cheese, you might find this ultimate Guide to Cheese in Pregnancy useful, since it lists dozens of different cheeses and their safety in pregnancy.

Pregnancy Options on the Subway Menu

If you’re pushed for time and just want to know which sandwiches you can eat at Subway, I’ve put together this guide to the Subway menu and the best options for pregnant women. It’s based on the USA menu and may differ depending on your country and region.

Tips that apply to ALL Subway sandwiches:

  • Almost all the salad fillings are safe as they’re prepped on-site, but as the lettuce is shredded and bagged commercially off-site, if you want to have lettuce, ask for it to be microwaved for a couple of minutes or skip it. Hot lettuce isn’t that pleasant, anyway!
  • All the spicy or marinated items (onions, jalepenos, pickles, olives, banana peppers etc) are fine in pregnancy.
  • As mentioned above, the mayo and dressings are all safe for pregnant women to eat, and so are all the cheeses.
  • Healthier options are the wraps, salads or smaller subs or sliders, without cheese and heavy dressings. Subway now publish calorie and nutritional information if you want to see what’s in your chosen sandwich combo.

Sandwiches that are safe IF you have the meat heated:

  • Black Forest Ham
  • Chicken and Bacon Ranch
  • Italian BMT
  • Cold Cuts (any combination)
  • Spicy Italian
  • Roast Beef
  • Club Sandwich
  • Turkey Breast

Sandwiches that are safe in pregnancy ‘as they come’, without lettuce:

  • Classic Tuna (can be eaten as it is, cold)
  • Oven-roasted, Teriyaki or Rotisserie Chicken
  • Meatball Marinara
  • Steak & Cheese
  • Veggie Delite (can be eaten as it is, cold)

Help! I accidentally ate at Subway Without Toasting or Heating – What do I do?

Understandably, it’s not unusual to go ahead and eat a sandwich without having the deli meat heated, especially at convenient places like Subway, or simply because you didn’t realize it had to be heated in the first place.

The first thing is don’t panic. The chances of contracting listeria are VERY low. Heating the deli meat is merely a step to reduce an already low risk, and if you’ve eaten a couple of non-toasted Subway sandwiches, it does NOT mean that you will get listeria or have done anything harmful to your baby.

The best thing is that you now know what to do to reduce your risk in the future. In the meantime, be reassured that the risk is very low, and monitor yourself for a few days for any potential symptoms of listeria.

Listeriosis symptoms include similar feelings to the onset of mild flu, such as headaches, vomiting, aches, and nausea (Source: APA). As these can often be symptoms that are prevalent in pregnancy anyway (such as morning sickness), if you have any concerns at all, contact a medical professional right away, to be on the safe side.

This article has been reviewed and approved for publication in line with our editorial policy.

Pregnant? Want to Eat at Subway? What You Need to Know | Pregnancy Food Checker (2024)


What can I eat from Subway when pregnant? ›

Everything from Subway's steak and cheese, oven-roasted chicken, meatball, and tuna sandwiches are just fine for pregnant women to consume, Dr. Phillips explains.

Can I eat Subway if I'm pregnant? ›

Can Pregnant Women Eat At Subway? Subway sandwiches are safe for pregnant women to eat if they're heated until hot, rather than just warm. This means either microwaved for a few seconds or having the sandwich toasted – sometimes a little more than normal.

Can I eat a cold cut combo from Subway while pregnant? ›

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises that pregnant women "avoid eating hot dogs, lunch meats, cold cuts, other deli meats (such as bologna), or fermented or dry sausages unless they are heated to an internal temperature of 165°F or until steaming hot just before serving."

Can I eat a tuna sandwich from Subway if I'm pregnant? ›

Can I have Subway tuna while pregnant? Subway's tuna sandwiches are made from fully cooked tuna, so yes, you can eat these.

What sandwich meat can I eat when pregnant? ›

Non-dried deli meats such as bologna, roast beef and turkey breast.

Can I eat Mayo while pregnant? ›

Note: Commercial mayonnaise, dressing, and sauces contain pasteurized eggs that are safe to eat.

Is fast food safe during pregnancy? ›

Fast food usually isn't the best choice for expecting moms, since it's often packed with excessive amounts of salt, added sugar, and unhealthy fats.

Can I eat pepperoni while pregnant? ›

Like other cured salamis, pepperoni is a raw food. Whether from the deli counter or out of the bag, you should avoid eating it cold because it can harbor bacteria that can harm your developing baby. However, cooked pepperoni is fine.

Can I eat hot dogs while pregnant? ›

Don't eat these foods during pregnancy. They can be really harmful to you and your baby. Raw or undercooked meat, including beef, poultry and pork. This includes hotdogs and deli meat (like ham or bologna).

How do you eat deli sandwiches when pregnant? ›

“If you're pregnant, you really shouldn't have deli meat,” Schaffner says. The only way to ensure that sliced deli meat is safe to eat, he adds, is by heating it to 165 degrees Fahrenheit, to guarantee that any lingering surface bacteria is killed off.

Why avoid deli meats in pregnancy? ›

Why can't pregnant women eat deli meat? It's best not to eat deli or lunch meats while you're pregnant, unless the food has been heated until steaming (165 degrees F) right before serving. These meats can harbor bacteria, which can continue to grow even when refrigerated.

What 3 meats are in the cold cut combo at Subway? ›

Cold Cut Trio is a SUBWAY® tradition. Experience sliced turkey bologna, turkey ham and turkey salami with your choice of fresh vegetables and condiments served on freshly baked bread. Some items may not be available in all markets. Prices and participation may vary.

How common is Listeria in pregnancy? ›

Pregnant women are about 10 times more likely to get listeriosis than other healthy adults. An estimated 1/6 of all Listeria cases occur in pregnant women.

Can I eat a BLT while pregnant? ›

Because BLT sandwiches (bacon, lettuce and tomato) are often made with cold bacon, this is the safest way to eat those, too- rather than buying the sandwich. This is because sandwich bars, delis, and similar places will have the same slightly higher risk of bacterial contamination.

Can I eat bacon while pregnant? ›

You can enjoy bacon safely during pregnancy. Just make sure to cook it thoroughly, until it's steaming hot. Avoid ordering bacon at a restaurant because you don't know how well it's cooked. If you want to avoid all risks completely, there are meat-free bacon alternatives available, like soy or mushroom bacon.

Are grapes safe for pregnancy? ›

Grapes are generally fine to eat during pregnancy. They are a good source of fiber and water and they contain vitamins and antioxidants. 234 "You can safely include grapes in your diet during pregnancy by adding them to salads, mixing them into yogurts or porridge, and mixing them into a smoothie," suggests Dr. Kliman.

What can I not eat when pregnant? ›

Which foods should I avoid when I'm pregnant?
  • soft cheeses.
  • undercooked or raw meat, fish and seafood.
  • pre-prepared or unwashed fruits and vegetables.
  • soft-serve ice cream.
  • undercooked or raw eggs.
  • unpasteurised milk.
  • alcohol.

Is cheese safe in pregnancy? ›

You're safe to eat some milk and dairy foods, including: All hard cheeses, such as cheddar, Parmesan or Gruyere. Pasteurised semi-hard and soft cheeses, such as cottage cheese, mozzarella, feta, paneer, ricotta, halloumi, cream cheese, cheese spreads, or goat's cheese without a white coating on the outside (rind)

Can I eat a Big Mac while pregnant? ›

The sauce used in a McDonald's BigMac is pasteurised and considered safe to eat while you are pregnant. Again, ask the staff to prepare a fresh burger for you. When buying a BigMac, it's also a good idea to ask staff to leave off the lettuce, as pre-prepared salad items carry a risk for listeria contamination.

What happens if you ignore pregnancy cravings? ›

What happens if you ignore pregnancy cravings? There is no evidence to suggest that ignoring pregnancy cravings could harm you or your baby, as long as you're eating a healthy and balanced diet. However, if you're concerned, it's best to speak with your health care provider.

Can I eat McDonald's fries when pregnant? ›

Eating McDonald's Fries, Snacks and Sides when Pregnant

Fries are pregnancy-safe, though you could ask for them to have less or no salt on them, and choose a smaller portion where possible.

What to avoid on pizza when pregnant? ›

Avoid foods such as pate, cold cooked chicken and deli meats such as ham and salami unless reheated to high temperature e.g., on a pizza.

Is it OK to eat KFC when pregnant? ›


Why do I crave pickles while pregnant? ›

Pickles. These salt-and-vinegar-soaked zingers are undoubtedly one of the most common food cravings for pregnant women. If you find yourself reaching for the dill pickles in the back of your fridge, it may because you have low sodium levels. Regardless of the cause, feel free to eat up.

Can I eat shrimp while pregnant? ›

While it is good to be cautious about your diet, there are a number of types of seafood that are safe to eat, including shrimp. Shrimp contain low levels of mercury; they also are low in fat content and high in protein, making them a healthy choice for pregnant mothers.

Which vegetables avoid during pregnancy? ›

To eliminate any harmful bacteria, thoroughly wash all raw fruits and vegetables. Avoid raw sprouts of any kind — including alfalfa, clover, radish and mung bean — which also might contain disease-causing bacteria.

Can I have steak while pregnant? ›

Yes, it's safe to eat most meat during pregnancy, as long as it's thoroughly cooked. Meat, including red meat, chicken and other poultry, and fish, is an excellent source of protein, iron and other vitamins and minerals.

What cold cuts can you eat when pregnant? ›

Cold Cuts and Deli Meat

Listeria can survive cold temps, which means there's still an off-chance they could make you sick; however, chicken that has been recently cooked and is still under the warmer is fine. Bottom line: Avoid deli meat straight from the counter, but you can eat it heated up.

What does BMT stand for at Subway? ›

™ stands for biggest, meatiest, tastiest. Some items may not be available in all markets. Prices and participation may vary.

What can accidentally cause a miscarriage? ›

Certain uterine conditions or weak cervical tissues (incompetent cervix) might increase the risk of miscarriage. Smoking, alcohol and illicit drugs. Women who smoke during pregnancy have a greater risk of miscarriage than do nonsmokers. Heavy alcohol use and illicit drug use also increase the risk of miscarriage.

What trimester is Listeria most common? ›

During pregnancy, Listeria infection occurs more frequently in the third trimester (66%), and in most cases, the maternal sickness is usually mild with non-specific symptoms (fever, flu-like syndrome, plus abdominal and back pain) or even asymptomatic.

What are the first signs of Listeria? ›

Mild symptoms may include a fever, muscle aches, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. If the more severe form of listeriosis develops, symptoms may include headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions. For the very young, the elderly, and the immune-compromised listeriosis can result in death.

Can you have Chinese food while pregnant? ›

You can safely eat Chinese food in early pregnancy, and there are no particular ingredients that are any more dangerous in early pregnancy than they are in later trimesters.

Can I eat banana while pregnant? ›

Bananas make a great addition to your balanced healthy diet during pregnancy. Not only because they help fulfill your daily recommended servings of fruit, but also because they supply your body and developing baby with lots of nutrients and health benefits.

What are good meals to eat while pregnant? ›

Regularly eating high protein foods -- like fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, peanut butter, nuts and beans –– promotes your baby's healthy brain and heart development. Grains Food like brown rice, quinoa, whole-wheat pasta and oatmeal are great to eat while pregnant.

Can you eat bacon from Subway while pregnant? ›

You can enjoy bacon safely during pregnancy. Just make sure to cook it thoroughly, until it's steaming hot. Avoid ordering bacon at a restaurant because you don't know how well it's cooked.

Can I eat grapes while pregnant? ›

Grapes are generally fine to eat during pregnancy. They are a good source of fiber and water and they contain vitamins and antioxidants. 234 "You can safely include grapes in your diet during pregnancy by adding them to salads, mixing them into yogurts or porridge, and mixing them into a smoothie," suggests Dr. Kliman.

Can I eat a deli sandwich while pregnant? ›

The safest course of action to protect your baby is to avoid deli meats until after pregnancy. If you plan to eat deli meats anyway, we highly suggest cooking them until they are steaming. If the meat is heated to steaming, any present Listeria bacteria should no longer be alive.

Can I eat bananas while pregnant? ›

Bananas should be on the top of your list and can be eaten throughout the pregnancy. They are rich in carbohydrates and will give you the much-needed energy during this time. Bananas are super healthy for those ladies who suffer from anemia, as it gives a good boost to the haemoglobin levels.

Which 11 foods avoid during pregnancy? ›

During pregnancy, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) encourages you to avoid:
  • Bigeye tuna.
  • King mackerel.
  • Marlin.
  • Orange roughy.
  • Swordfish.
  • Shark.
  • Tilefish.


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