Can you eat Korean bbq when pregnant?

In this article we are going to answer can you eat Korean bbq when pregnant, what is a Korean bbq, whether is healthy to eat Korean bbq when pregnant, and what safety tips should you follow when eating a Korean BBQ, and what can’t eat or drink in Korean BBQ.

Can you eat Korean bbq when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat Koren bbq as long as the meat has been cooked thoroughly. All types of food including beef, poultry, or fish must be cooked up to 160 F or 70 C up to well cook point to prevent food poisoning in pregnant women. 

What is a Korean barbeque?

Korean barbeque usually refers to a method used in Korean cuisine that grills the meat, typically beef, pork, or chicken. Dishes cooked with the Korean Barbeque method are prepared on gas or charcoal grills built into dining tables. 

The most representative dish is bulgogi, which is made from thinly sliced marinated beef, usually sirloin or tenderloin. Another popular dish is galbi, which is marinated beef from short ribs. 

Korean barbeque includes many other marinated and non-marinated proteins such as

  • Beef marinated: Bulgogi, Galbi, and Jumulleok
  • Been un-marinated: Includes thinly sliced brisket, sirloin, rib-eye roll, beef tenderloin, chuck flap tail, rib mear, strip loin, top blade, outside skirt steak, and flank steak.
  • Prok marinated: Spicy pork bulgogi
  • Pork un-marinated: Pork belly
  • Chicken marinated: spicy marinated 
  • Chicken un-marinated: grilled chicken

The most popular side dish in Korean Barbeque are rice, kimchi, and fresh vegetables including lettuce, cucumbers, peppers, and green onion also called pajeori. Other side dishes may include

  • Spinach
  • Egg roll omellete
  • Spicy radish salad
  • Egg souffle

Is it healthy to eat Korean Barbeque?

Yes, Korean barbeque is considered healthy because it usually uses lean meats. If you choose a healthy side dish and dont overeat it, Korean Barbeque can be eaten once in a while without any problem. 

Choose a good protein, fully cooked, and a healthy side dish to keep your pregnancy healthy.

What safety tips should I follow when eating a Korean Barbeque?

When it comes to Korean Barbeque you need to be aware that there is a risk of food poisoning with salmonella, toxoplasmosis, or listeria. Food-borne illnesses in pregnant women present a more serious health risk. 

Although nowadays it’s very difficult to catch an infection, Korean barbeque presents a risk of contamination. The three main diseases you can contract if you eat undercooked Korean BBQ are toxoplasmosis, salmonella, and listeriosis. 

Listeria monocytogenes

Listeria monocytogenes cause listeriosis. If you let the bacteria go too far, it can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and other health problems. It can cause respiratory tract symptoms, septicemia, and encephalitis. 

According to the American Pregnancy Association, approximately 2,5000 people will get infected with listeria every year. It means that it’s very rare to get infected but pregnant women are in a more delicate condition and need to be a little more careful because it could lead to fatal health conditions. 

Listeria has been linked to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, septicemia, and pneumonia in the newborn baby. 

Toxoplasma Gondii

Toxoplasma Gondii is the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. For a normal, healthy person, it usually doesn’t cause any symptoms but for pregnant women, it’s too risky, it can cause serious health problems.  One important thing to add is that once you contract toxoplasmosis you can’t contract it again. 

It has been linked with poor health of the unborn baby with problems such as chorioretinitis, mental retardation, hearing loss, blindness, or epilepsy. 


Salmonella is a bacteria that can be very dangerous in pregnant women. It also causes digestive symptoms like the other pathogens listed above. 

One important thing about salmonella is that it can cause bacteremia, a condition where there is bacteria in the blood and can be fatal to pregnant women. 

Symptoms include

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Chills and fevers
  • Muscle pain
  • In pregnant women, it may cause flu-like symptoms with fever and chills 

So why are pregnant women more likely to get infected? Because their immune system is compromised and does not work as well as for a healthy person. Also, remember that while the baby is not fully developed, the baby it’s at risk too. 

What you can’t eat or drink in Korean Barbeques?

Korean Barbeque can be enjoyed as long as all food has been cooked thoroughly to prevent any food poisoning illnesses. Make sure kimchi has been stored correctly. The only thing or beverages you should skip that is part of Korean Barbeque are beer, soju, makgeolli, or wine. 

According to the NHS, pregnant women should not drink any type of alcohol because it increases the risk of miscarriage, premature birth, and low birthweight. 

If you need more information on alcohol consumption when pregnant follow this link. 

Other FAQs about Meat  that you may be interested in.

Can you eat heated lunch meat when pregnant? 

Can you bake a brisket

Can dogs eat spoiled meat if cooked?


This article answered can you eat Korean bbq when pregnant, what is a Korean bbq, is healthy to eat Korean bbq when pregnant what safety tips should you follow when eating a Korean BBQ and what can’t eat or drink in Korean BBQ.


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