Can you eat medium-rare steak while pregnant?

In this brief guide, we will address the query “can you eat medium-rare steak while pregnant?”

We will also discuss what is medium-rare steak, the reasons why you should avoid medium-rare steak while pregnant, illnesses that can be brought by eating medium-rare steak when pregnant, and the dangers of eating medium-rare steak while pregnant.

Can you eat medium-rare steak while pregnant?

No, it’s best not to eat undercooked or raw meat during pregnancy, as it may make you ill and even harm your baby.

Medium-rare steak has a higher risk of harboring illness-causing bacteria like listeria, salmonella, and E.coli.

During pregnancy your immune system has a harder time fighting off germs therefore consuming medium-rare steak makes it more likely for you to get sick or suffer complications like miscarriage or premature delivery.

Moreover, foodborne illness-causing bacteria can cross the placenta and make your baby develop serious infections or even birth defects.

What is a medium-rare steak?

A medium-rare steak has a warm, red center that oozes with juicy beef flavor. The core temperature is between 130 degrees to 135 degrees. It is soft and juicy on the inside and firm on the outside.  A medium-cooked steak is more of a gray-brown color and has a pink band in the center.

Which are the food-borne illnesses brought about by eating medium-rare steak?

Food-borne illnesses include listeria, salmonella, and E.coli

We will discuss them briefly;

Listeria

Listeria can be caused by undercooked meat, poultry, or seafood, it can also be caused by contaminated ready-to-eat meats.

The most common symptoms include fever, muscle aches, diarrhea, and nausea. 

Listeria can cause miscarriage, therefore pregnant women should be careful to avoid getting it.

Salmonella 

Eating medium-rare steak that is undercooked meat or poultry increases your risk of becoming infected with salmonella.

Symptoms include: fever, abdominal cramps, headaches, and diarrhea 

These symptoms begin within 12 to 72 hours of consuming the contaminated food, the symptoms can last up to a week and may be severe enough to cause death if one has a compromised immune system.

E.coli

Eating undercooked beef such as a medium-rare steak causes E.coli.

The symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting, and stomach cramps.

These symptoms usually occur between two and eight days after eating contaminated food, they can last up to a week.

E Coli can be easily eliminated by searing the outside of the undercooked meat since it is mostly found on the surface of the meat but this can not be applied to the meat that has been mechanically tenderized, therefore the only way to completely kill this pathogen is by cooking the meat until it is well done in order to prevent illness.

Toxoplasma

Eating medium-rare steak has the potential risk of toxoplasmosis, which can cause neurological damage to your baby or even stillbirth.

Toxoplasmosis also increases the risk of miscarriage and damages the organs of the developing baby.

Toxoplasmosis infection during pregnancy can cause blindness and mental disabilities later in the life of your child. 

In situations where one has a compromised immune system, infections caused by taking medium-rare steak can lead to death.

The bottom line.

From the discussion above it is evident that you cannot eat medium-rare steak while pregnant since it has so many dangers to the mother and even the unborn child to some extent that it can cause death. 

However, this does not mean that pregnant women cannot have steak, steak is a good source of protein, zinc, and iron which are essential during pregnancy, just ensure that the steak is well cooked. Well-done steak is normally charred on the outside and is grayish-brown all through with no sign of pink. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we have addressed the query “can you eat medium-rare steak while pregnant?” We have also discussed what is medium-rare steak, the reasons why you should avoid medium-rare steak while pregnant, illnesses that can be brought by eating medium-rare steak when pregnant, and the dangers of eating medium-rare steak while pregnant.

Citations

https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/your-health/foods-to-avoid-during-pregnancy#:~:text=So%20while%20you%20may%20have,food%20poisoning)
https://www.simple30.com/faq/6915-can-i-eat-medium-rare-steak-when-pregnant/
https://www.peanut-app.io/blog/can-you-eat-medium-steak-while-pregnant
https://www.hellomotherhood.com/13647623/can-pregnant-women-eat-steak/
https://www.smarterhomemaker.com/eatingn-medium-steak-while-pregnant/
https://www.babycentre.co.uk/x536443/is-it-safe-to-eat-rare-or-raw-meat-during-pregnancy#:~:text=No.,and%20bloody%20in%20the%20middle.
https://ada.com/foods-to-avoid-during-pregnancy/

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.