Can you eat beef jerky while pregnant?

In this brief guide, we will answer the question, “can you eat beef jerky while pregnant?” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can eat beef jerky while pregnant. Moreover, we are going to discuss whether or not pregnant women can consume homemade beef jerky. 

Can you eat beef jerky while pregnant?

It is better to avoid eating beef jerky when pregnant. In the traditional sense of the word, jerky is not cooked; rather, it is dried over a lengthy period of time at low temperatures. 

Jerky is dried, not cooked, therefore it shouldn’t be consumed when you’re pregnant because your immune system is weakened during the pregnancy and there are more chances of foodborne illnesses.

What are the consequences of eating beef jerky in pregnancy?

Foodborne disease, sometimes known as food poisoning, can affect anyone, but because pregnancy can negatively impact your immune system, your chances of getting sick are increased. Your body may therefore struggle to fight off microorganisms that can make you ill as a result.

Toxoplasma-causing microorganisms are included in this. Your infant can also become ill in addition to you.

Jerky isn’t technically raw, but it’s also not cooked in the conventional sense either.

High-temperature cooking of meat helps eliminate microorganisms that can make you unwell. Meat is dried to make jerky, however, not all microorganisms are destroyed by drying.

You cannot be certain of the temperature at which jerky was dried when purchasing it from a retailer.

You are gambling with your health every time you eat jerky.

In healthy individuals, toxoplasmosis is a common infection that seldom results in life-threatening complications. As a result of the infection’s ability to go away on its own, some people aren’t even aware that they have it.

But you must take all possible precautions to prevent toxoplasmosis during pregnancy because this condition might cause birth abnormalities. This includes avoiding beef jerky, cleaning your hands after handling raw meat, and washing fruit and vegetables before eating.

Salt intake and blood pressure increase

Beyond the possibility of contracting a foodborne illness, pregnant women should stay away from beef jerky. While jerky can satisfy a need, it also contains a lot of salt.

Your blood pressure could increase depending on how much you consume, which is bad for both you and your unborn child. Having too much salt might make swelling-related discomfort worse.

Preeclampsia and preterm labor are at an increased risk due to high blood pressure during pregnancy.

What are the alternatives to eating beef jerky?

Well, you could always make a steak yourself. Just make sure it’s cooked thoroughly, which means letting it stew until it reaches a temperature of 165°F (74°C). Fear not; well-done meat can still have flavor. A visit to the spice rack can produce wonderful results. (And if you’re craving jerky, a lot of black pepper can be the answer!)

Or pick up some vegetarian or vegan jerky made with diverse components like tofu, mushrooms, jackfruit, eggplant, and so on. Though it might not taste exactly like beef jerky, plant-based jerky can still be tasty and gratifying.

However, be gentle. Despite being a plant-based snack, it is still processed, therefore salt levels may be significant. Bacon that has been cooked properly is similarly safe but about as salty as snacks go.

What about cooking beef jerky in the microwave or oven to try to destroy bacteria? Well, there’s no assurance that it will, but it might. Avoid jerky and err on the side of caution. You can welcome it back into your life in a few months.

Is beef jerky safe for the fetus?

It is unsafe for the infant for you to eat jerky while pregnant since it may weaken your immune system, which is already weak throughout pregnancy.

Salty jerky may increase blood pressure during pregnancy, which increases the risk of low birth weight, preterm birth, stillbirth, placental abruption, and poor fetal growth.

In the meanwhile, bacterial infections can affect pregnant women relatively briefly and, in rare instances, result in fetal mortality.

Can a pregnant woman consume homemade beef jerky?

NO! Even more likely to spread foodborne illness than store-bought beef jerky is homemade jerky. This is due to the fact that those ought to be manufactured safely by experts and inspected as well.

Is it normal to crave beef jerky when pregnant?

It’s normal to crave beef jerky while pregnant; according to some studies, approximately 90% of pregnant women will have cravings at some point throughout their pregnancy.

It’s also not uncommon for them to act strangely; believe us, more pregnant women than you might realize have had experiences like “I ate four pepperoni + Nutella + pickle sandwiches this week.”

Therefore, it is very normal to have a beef jerky hunger, especially if you like this snack before becoming pregnant.

You can read more about Iron-Rich Foods to Eat During Pregnancy here


In this brief guide, we answered the question, “can you eat beef jerky while pregnant?” with an in-depth analysis of whether or not you can eat beef jerky while pregnant. Moreover, we discussed whether or not pregnant women can consume homemade beef jerky.


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