Can you eat baked Christmas ham when pregnant? (5 Steps)

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can you eat baked Christmas ham when pregnant? We will discuss if baked Christmas ham can harm you when pregnant and ways to ensure that it remains safe for you and your baby. 

Can you eat baked Christmas ham when pregnant?

You can eat baked Christmas ham when pregnant if it is piping hot and cooked to an internal temperature of 145 Fahrenheit. Cooking by any heating method is acceptable if it reaches a temperature of 145 Fahrenheit, which makes it safe by getting rid of the parasites and bacteria that can make a pregnant woman sick.

You can eat baked Christmas ham if it is cooked all the way through to prevent catching a food-borne illness. If you are pregnant, bake or broil Christmas ham at 325 Fahrenheit or make sure it is steaming hot when it is served to you to ensure that it is safe for you and your baby.

If you suspect that baked Christmas ham is not cooked to perfection, then it is best to avoid it during your pregnancy or if you are otherwise susceptible to food-borne illness. 

When should you avoid eating baked Christmas ham when pregnant?

Pregnant women are more susceptible to food-borne infections. If the Christmas ham is not piping hot and shows traces of pink, it means that it is not well-done. 

Pre-cooked or semi-cooked meat such as ham can cause miscarriage, and stillbirth or harm the fetus; causing illnesses and deformities.

You need to avoid medium-rare or underdone meat when you are pregnant because it can have contaminants such as Toxoplasma Gondii, Salmonella, and Listeria that can make you sick.

When you are pregnant you must avoid any steak, beef, sausages, burgers, roast meat, that is not cooked to doneness. Meat that you can eat while you are pregnant must not have any traces of pink and must be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 Fahrenheit.

How do you get sick by eating undercooked Christmas ham?

Listeria bacteria can be transferred to a person by eating undercooked ham. Pregnant women are 10 times more susceptible to the Listeria bacteria. Listeria is one of the deadly food-borne illnesses that affect people over the age of 65, pregnant women, and immunocompromised people.

The symptoms of  Listeriosis can be identified as fever, chills, muscle aches, diarrhea, headache, and poor mental function.

However, in other cases, pregnant women may not experience any symptoms of the infection. However, this does not mean that it is not capable of harming the baby.

Uncooked pork meat also carries Toxoplasma Gondii that can be deadly. Toxoplasma Gondi is a parasite that can attack people of all ages. 

When it affects a pregnant woman, it can cause the death of the fetus. Otherwise, it will cause the fetus to have cerebral calcification, blindness, and other deadly and rare conditions.

Baked Ham is from pork hence carries a risk of causing toxoplasmosis. Pork has parasites that can make you sick and cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and birth defects.

How to prepare baked Christmas ham so that it stays safe for you when you are pregnant?

Baked Christmas ham will need to be baked for at least half an hour until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 Fahrenheit. Use a kitchen thermometer to spare you of the worry if your Christmas ham is safe. Insert the thermometer to the center of the ham to confirm its internal temperature.

Serve only after the baked Christmas ham is piping hot and there are no traces of pink flesh. Follow the steps below to guide you through the process.

  1. Prepare your glaze or dressing by simmering it on your stove.
  2. Preheat your oven to 300 Fahrenheit or 150 celsius. Place your rack on the third lowest option. 
  3. After you take the plastic off, cut the rind off and discard it. Make sure to leave the layer of fat intact.
  4. Put your ham in a baking tray and bake for fifteen minutes.
  5. Take the ham out and increase the temperature of the oven to 425 Fahrenheit or 220 C. Pour your glaze over the ham and bake for another fifteen minutes.
  6. Repeat the process. Take the ham out again, glaze and bake for a further fifteen minutes. 
  7. Take the ham out and check using your thermometer. Otherwise, assess its color. If it is still pink, then turn your broiler or oven grill on and broil for 2-5 minutes.

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can you eat baked Christmas ham when pregnant? We discussed if baked Christmas ham can harm you when pregnant and ways to ensure that it remains safe for you and your baby. 

 Citations

https://www.fsis.usda.gov/food-safety/safe-food-handling-and-preparation/meat/hams-and-food-safety
https://www.fda.gov/food/health-educators/listeria-food-safety-moms-be

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.