Can you eat Christmas ham off the bone when pregnant?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, can you eat Christmas ham off the bone when pregnant? We will discuss reasons to avoid Christmas ham off the bone and the things to keep in check if you eat Christmas off the bone.

Can you eat Christmas ham off the bone when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat Christmas ham off the bone when you are pregnant; only if it is thoroughly cooked. Ham is cooked only partially if it is smoked, brined, or baked. You must not eat uncooked, or semi-cooked meat when you are pregnant, which includes cured or smoked ham.

You need to avoid cured meat when you are pregnant because it can have contaminants such as Toxoplasma Gondi, Salmonella, and Listeria that can make you sick. 

Ham off the bone is also a brand name for smoked deli meat, that you must not eat when pregnant.

You can eat piping hot homemade Christmas ham if it is cooked all the way through. Christmas ham or ham off the bone is usually served cold. However, if you are pregnant, you will need to cook it to 325 Fahrenheit, to ensure that it is safe for you and your baby. 

Can you get Listeria or Toxoplasmosis by eating ham off the bone while pregnant?

You can get Listeria from eating undercooked ham off the bone. Listeria is one of the deadly food-borne illnesses that affect people over the age of 65, pregnant women, and immunocompromised people.

Uncooked pork meat also carries Toxoplasma Gondii that can be deadly, its prevalence rate can be as high as 72 percent in pork meat such as ham. 

Toxoplasma Gondii 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.

You must also avoid eating Perma ham, serrano ham, pancetta, black forest ham, city ham, and cold-smoked ham when you are pregnant. 

While pork is treated with salt and nitrites to get rid of the parasites, it is not as effective as cooking it. 

What is ham off the bone?

Ham of the bone or Christmas ham or baked ham mean the same thing; deli ham that is cured and smoked and sometimes baked as well. 

Ham off the bone is packed with natural meat juices, and cured with salt, water, sugar, potassium lactate, sodium lactate, sodium phosphates, sodium diacetates, sodium erythorbate, and sodium nitrite. 

The packaging on the product named Ham off the bone label says that it has 2 percent iron, 12 percent cholesterol and 28 percent is sodium. It gives you more reasons to avoid Ham off the bone if you are pregnant. Ham off the bone is one of the most processed foods with around 80 to 95 percent pork, while the rest of it is additive.

If you cannot have fresh meat, then you can get healthy deli options, such as roast beef, or shredded roast chicken. Cook them for a few minutes to make sure that it gets rid of all the bacteria. 

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.

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. 

Cured and unfermented meat is usually uncooked. To be sure, you must consult the package before you eat. 

You can eat ham that says it was fully cooked on the package or if you heat it to high temperature to make it safe. 

You can eat cooked pepperoni and cold-cooked roast ham. You must also avoid all types of pate and cured or fermented meat such as Parma ham and salami during your pregnancy. 

Also, if you freeze your pork dishes, prior to cooking, it makes it safer. Freezing your ham for four days immobilizes the parasites. Be sure to cook it thoroughly before eating. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we answered the question, can you eat Christmas ham off the bone when pregnant? We discussed reasons to avoid Christmas ham off the bone and the things to keep in check if you eat Christmas off the bone.

Citations

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/howto/guide/eating-pregnancy-myths-debunked
https://eckrich.smithfieldfoods.com/en-us/products/deli-meat/ham-off-the-bone/
https://www.babycenter.com.au/thread/2893260/ham-off-the-bone
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/listeria-infection/symptoms-causes/syc-20355269#:~:text=Listeria%20infection%20is%20a%20foodborne,meats%20and%20unpasteurized%20milk%20products.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Toxoplasmosis

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.