Can Pregnant Women Eat Medium Cooked Steak?

Can Pregnant Women Eat Medium Cooked Steak?

It is not strange that pregnant women crave to eat medium-cooked steak. Steak is very good for women in gestation, it is rich in proteins and iron that are effective for fetal growth and development. However, eating medium-cooked steak might be questionable as it hasn’t been fully cooked. This brings us to the question: can pregnant women eat medium-cooked steak?

No, expecting mums can’t eat medium-cooked steak. As this can expose them to the risk of getting an infection known as listeriosis, which can be dangerous to the health of the pregnant woman and her unborn child. Therefore, if you have a craving, the best kind of steak for you is the well-done steak, which has been properly cooked and is void of any bacteria. 

Just like every other meat pregnant women consume, steak needs to be well done to ensure that an expecting mum and her unborn are safe from food-borne diseases. As juicy and tempting as a medium-cooked steak may be, it is best that pregnant women stay off it for the rest of their pregnancy but of its high risk. Still confused? Continue reading to find out more. 

Is It Safe For Pregnant Women Eat Medium Cooked Steak?

Pregnant women eating a steak is not a bad idea, however, the way the steak was prepared matters a great deal. Pregnant women are advised to avoid all kinds of uncooked, undercooked, and processed meat for a good reason. 

During pregnancy, women must be very watchful of what they eat and take preventive measures against some illnesses that could deter their health and that of the baby.

Medium-cooked steak is one of those things to avoid because of the high risk of active bacteria in them. These bacteria can be very dangerous as they can cause harm to the baby and we honestly do not want that. So it’s best to stay away from medium-rare steak and every other undercooked meat.

The Risks Of Eating Medium Cooked Steak When Pregnant

When a medium-cooked steak is consumed by pregnant women they expose their bodies to harmful bacteria that can negatively affect them and their babies. These risks are stated below:

1. Food Poisoning

This is usually caused by the infamous salmonella bacteria. However, food poisoning is every pregnant woman’s worst enemy and must be avoided at all costs. When expecting mothers experience this, there’s a high chance that their unborn is at risk of nutritional deficiency.

Here are the symptoms of food poisoning;

  • Dehydration.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Light fever.
  • Stomach aches.

2. Listeriosis

This infection is caused by a bacteria commonly known as Listeria. Every pregnant woman is always advised to avoid getting infected at all costs because of the serious damage it can cause to them and their unborn. Not trying to scare you but the worst-case scenario of Listeriosis could be the death of the mother and child. 

The symptoms of listeriosis are;

  • Fever.
  • Vomiting.
  • Muscle aches.
  • Cold.
  • Confusion.
  • Dehydration.

Listeriosis commonly doesn’t show any sign of being present, leaving an expectant mum clueless about the dangers ahead. Especially in early pregnancy, listeriosis can lead to premature labor or miscarriage.

3. Toxoplasmosis

Another popular risk of eating medium-cooked steak while pregnant is toxoplasmosis. This parasite is known for infecting expecting mothers and their babies, and its effect on the mother and child varies. An expectant mum will have these symptoms if she’s infected; fever, muscle aches, diarrhea, nausea, cold, and headaches. 

The following however are the effects of toxoplasmosis in fetuses;

  • Anemia.
  • Miscarriage.
  • Hearing problems.
  • Vision troubles.
  • Brain Damage.
  • Jaundice.
  • Seizures.
  • Stillbirth.

Toxoplasmosis in fetuses and newborns is extremely dangerous and by all means, it must be avoided by staying off any undercooked meat like medium cooked steak.

Cooked steak
Image: @tastyfood via Twenty20

Safer Alternatives to Medium Cooked Steak

Especially for pregnant women who like their steam medium-cooked.

1. Well-done Steak

If you ever feel like eating steak, you can go for the well-done steak as this option is the safest to avoid any form of foodborne illness. Because well-done steaks are fully cooked. Unlike the medium-cooked steak, well done has a gray-brownish color. Usually, this meat has been left to cook on slow heat at 165 degrees celsius. 

2. Ground Chicken, Turkey, and Pork 

Ground chicken, turkey, and pork are another great option for medium-cooked steaks. It can be used as a substitute for your craving as it is just as tasty. However, it is important to ensure that these too must be well cooked. 

Summary 

What is the fun of craving something if you can’t eat it? You can feel free to indulge in steak if you crave it.

But be sure to consume well-done steak rather than medium-cooked steak. This is because medium-cooked steaks can lead to infections like listeriosis, food poisoning, and toxoplasmosis, which can further lead to miscarriage and other issues. 

However there are several other alternatives you can safely indulge in and they are well-cooked ground turkey, and chicken, pork, ham, duck, and goose meat. 

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