Can Pregnant Women Eat Deer Jerky?

Can Pregnant Women Eat Deer Jerky

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Do you have a craving for deer jerky but you doubt if pregnant women can eat it? We all know how pregnancy messes with a woman’s hormones, from regular bathroom visits to excessive sweating to brain fog and discomfort. Pregnant women have to deal with constant cravings and this most times is very challenging. The cravings could be very strong and quite weird sometimes.

We’d love to assure you that your cravings are valid and it is all thanks to your hormones. But then, not all foods or snacks yearned for by pregnant women are odd, the urge might be as simple as deer jerky. But is it even safe for a pregnant woman and her baby?

Deer jerky might have been cool to eat before pregnancy but it’s best to stay away from it while you are pregnant. As a pregnant woman deer jerky can be harmful to you, as it is not cooked or heat-treated completely and there’s a possibility of bacterial contamination in them.

With pregnancy, there’s a high chance you might wish for deer jerky especially if you have been eating it before you got pregnant but it is certainly not a good idea. We’ll be taking a closer look at this topic and highlighting the reasons why deer jerky is bad for pregnant women.

Is It Safe For Pregnant Women Eat Deer Jerky?

Deer jerky is a delicious, irresistible snack, it is high in protein and a go-to for those in need of a quick snack. But can you believe it’s bad for pregnant women? 

Deer jerky is a huge no-no for expecting mothers, as it is not fully cooked or was barely left in the heat for a long time. For this reason, there’s no guarantee that bacteria has been fully eliminated from the snack as proper heat is one of the efficient ways to kill bacteria. 

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Deer jerky is usually smoked or dried up which is not enough to take out any bacterial infestation. We can’t say we don’t know how disappointing it is to be advised not to eat your favorite snack throughout your pregnancy but it is worth the sacrifice.

Here are some similar snacks pregnant women should avoid;

  • Beef jerky.
  • Chicken jerky.
  • Fish jerky.
  • Bresaola.
  • Pork jerky.
  • Biltong.
  • Dried sausage.
  • Turkey jerky.
  • Sushi.
  • Deli meats.

This goes to show that all kinds of jerky should be avoided by pregnant women as they may contain harmful microorganisms which can be a threat to the welfare of a pregnant woman and these impediments will be discussed.

Image: @metodma via Twenty20.

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3 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Eat Deer Jerky While Pregnant

Here are some reasons why eating beef jerky isn’t such a great idea for pregnant women.

1. They are at higher risk of food poisoning 

Food poisoning or foodborne illness can indeed happen to just about anyone but as a pregnant woman, the chances of you getting sick are higher than average.

Pregnancy is capable of weakening the immune system, for this reason, your body finds it hard to combat microorganisms that could cause harm to your system.  And the fact that deer jerk is partially cooked, can introduce bacteria to the body that could cause foodborne illness.

2. It can cause Toxoplasmosis 

Toxoplasmosis is a very common illness, but it doesn’t necessarily cause serious issues for healthy people. Most people don’t always have a clue that they are infected, as the body can fight off toxoplasmosis without any medication. However, toxoplasmosis in pregnant women can sometimes lead to birth deformities, so it is very important to try as much as possible to prevent this infection during pregnancy. 

Avoiding toxoplasmosis means thoroughly washing vegetables and fruits you intend to eat, keeping good hygiene by regularly washing your hands especially after touching raw meat, and of course, staying away from deer jerky or any other kinds of jerky and dried meat.

3. Can give rise to blood pressure 

Food poisoning and toxoplasmosis aren’t the only purposes for avoiding deer jerky during pregnancy, there is also the risk of high blood pressure because deer jerky has high salt content. 

The more you consume, the higher the chances of your blood pressure rising, which is dangerous as you are not just putting yourself at risk but also your baby. The salt content in deer jerky can cause swelling and discomfort, especially in pregnant women. 


We don’t want to be a killjoy but it is important to steer clear of deer jerky while pregnant.

This is because your immune system is compromised and deer jerky can give room for complications due to the possibility of bacterial contamination in the dried meat. As earlier stated deer jerky can cause food poisoning, high blood pressure, and bacterial infections (toxoplasmosis). 

However, we know resisting the urge to give in to deer jerky cravings may be tough but it can be done. Other alternatives can help curb this craving and they include savory snacks, steaks, plant-based jerky, and cooked meat. 

If you are not still clear about eating jerky you can opt to go see your doctor for more professional advice. 

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