Why Can’T You Eat Beef Jerky While Pregnant?

Although its flavorful, high-protein bite may be exactly what you’re craving during pregnancy, there may be a few reasons why you shouldn’t consume beef jerky or other jerky types.

Hi, I’m Hilary — The Pregnancy Nurse ‍⚕️. I’ve worked as an OB nurse for 20 years and have been a nurse since 1997. I’m also the curly brains behind Pulling Curls and The Online Prenatal Class for Couples. I’ve also had three pregnancies, so I understand the struggles of having a strong desire for something while unsure of its safety for your unborn child.

Obviously, this is not medical advice, and it is advisable to speak with your healthcare provider about your diet while pregnant. Gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, sodium sensitivity, stomach sensitivity, and more conditions could affect what you should eat.

Oh, and download my free guide to healthy eating during pregnancy, which I’ll send to your inbox right away:

Item added to your cart

Pregnancy cravings can be weird, to say the least.

Anyone who is pregnant or has been pregnant is aware that cravings for certain flavors can occur at any time. Or sometimes you want a savory traditional dinner for breakfast. Other times you might want a decadent breakfast for dinner.

And there are times when you simply need beef jerky like it’s your last meal.

As much as we want to satisfy everyone’s cravings for beef jerky, we also want to be honest about the facts. We are aware that you must scrutinize every cheese, fish, and meat item. We therefore have the responses to your questions about whether pregnant women can consume beef jerky.

The Risks of Eating Beef Jerky While Pregnant

Beef jerky seems like it should be fine. It’s just meat, right?.

The preparation is the problem. A mother’s immune system is weakened during pregnancy, increasing her risk of illness.

Beef jerky is cooked, but not in the conventional sense. In fact, a well-made beef jerky must go through the dehydration process. However, that does not mean that it is well done, as you were instructed to order your burgers.

Due to a weakened immune system, pregnant women need to be very careful about the foods they eat. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Otherwise, you could risk getting sick. Even worse, a foodborne illness could affect an unborn baby.

Undercooked animal products lead to foodborne illnesses. Jerky is dried for a very long time at low temperatures. The incredible flavor and texture of beef jerky are a result of this, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe for expectant mothers to consume.

Dried meats are more likely to contain bacteria, which puts you at greater risk of infection. Toxoplasma gondii is a parasite found in undercooked meats that can result in toxoplasmosis.

The truth is that the majority of those infected with this parasite never experience any symptoms. However, due to pregnant women’s weakened immune systems, this may result in food poisoning.

Even though food poisoning is unpleasant, it usually gets better on its own after about a month. However, those with compromised immune systems are more likely to experience alarming symptoms. These may include:

  • Headaches, seizures, confusion, and possibly even a coma are symptoms of brain inflammation.
  • A cough, fever, or shortness of breath could be signs of a lung infection.
  • Eye infection, which can cause eye pain and blurry vision

Spikes in Blood Pressure

Because of the spices and seasonings, some beef jerky can contain a lot of salt. You’re probably aware that pregnancy and high sodium intake don’t mix well. For instance, you may want to avoid eating too much salt if you have swollen hands and feet during pregnancy.

However, there are other symptoms you should be aware of. These include:

  • Constant headaches
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Potential organ damage
  • Increased risk of heart disease
  • And more

So, Can You Eat Beef Jerky While Pregnant?

We make our beef jerky with love, but we don’t want to take a chance on any expectant customers experiencing mild or serious symptoms. It’s best to stay away from beef jerky until after your nine-month pregnancy is over.

It is always best to follow your doctor’s advice regarding which foods are safe to eat while expecting. You will better safeguard your unborn child while also preventing illness in yourself.

Beef Jerky Alternatives for Pregnant Women

We are aware that going nine months without beef jerky may be challenging. But don’t worry, there are lots of other delectable foods that are secure and will satisfy your cravings during pregnancy.

We understand if coconut jerky initially seems like a crazy idea.

You might think the texture is way too firm once you bite into it. But don’t give up too quickly.

As you chew it, coconut jerky becomes more pliable and can become surprisingly addictive. Although coconut is naturally quite sweet, coconut jerky is available in a variety of savory flavors that may surprise you, such as ginger-teriyaki and chili-lime.

Additionally safe and highly advised for consumption while pregnant is coconut. It has good fats and lauric acid, which helps with lactation and encourages milk production.

Despite having a very different texture from jerky, olives have a flavor that is similarly salty and savory.

Additionally, pregnant women have consistently benefited from olive consumption. They contain a lot of monounsaturated fats, which have been demonstrated to help a baby’s brain and eyes develop.

Seaweed isn’t just for sushi; in fact, in recent years, sushi snack packs have become more and more popular. Each day, thousands of elementary school students eagerly anticipate their seaweed snacks. And parents are ecstatic!.

To satisfy your craving for savory flavor, the salty, umami flavor is comparable to jerky. Additionally, seaweed contains a lot of iodine and tyrosine, two nutrients essential for thyroid health. Moreover, iodine helps pregnant women’s metabolism during pregnancy.

Furthermore, seaweed is packed full of vitamins and minerals. Choosing to keep seaweed snacks in your pantry will provide you with the following advantages:

  • Vitamins A, C, E, and K
  • Folate
  • Zinc
  • Calcium
  • Magnesium
  • And more!

However, you should be aware of all the nutritional facts. Some seaweed snacks may contain higher levels of sodium. Make sure to limit your salty snacks for the benefit of your swollen feet.

I Ate Beef Jerky While Pregnant — Now What?

There is no need to be alarmed if you eat beef jerky while expecting. Simply monitor yourself for any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headaches
  • Swollen lymph nodes, often in the neck region
  • Muscle aches and pains
  • Sore throat
  • Inflammation of the lungs, heart muscles, and eyes

If you experience any negative side effects or indications of a foodborne illness, call your doctor right away. But none of these negative effects are very likely to occur if you eat beef jerky.

Bottom line — you’re more than likely fine. You are the expert on your body, and you know what’s best for your child. It’s advisable to stay away from foods that are marked as smoked, nova style, kippered, jerky, or lox for the remainder of your pregnancy.

Consider consuming processed meats in the interim, such as hot dogs, lunch meat, cold cuts, and dry sausages. These meats are considered safe for pregnant women to consume. Food-borne illness is very unlikely as long as the meat you eat reaches a safe internal temperature of 165 °F.

Consider using a food thermometer when preparing meat at home to ensure that it reaches a safe temperature.

Explore the Jerky Universe

Continue exploring the Jerky Universe where we address all of your inquiries and offer helpful resources if you have any additional questions about beef jerky and its advantages.

To stay updated, simply follow us on social media and sign up for our newsletter.

Subscribe to the Jerky Universe

Enter the Jerky Universe by subscribing to our newsletter to stay informed about everything jerky. You’ll discover new products, snag deals and discounts, read reviews, and discover blogs first. You know you want to hold the title of official snack expert!

  • Choosing a selection results in a full page refresh.

Can you eat beef jerky while pregnant?


Can you eat grass fed beef jerky while pregnant?

Since jerky and other dried meats are not fully cooked or heat-treated, pregnant women should avoid eating them. Meat that has been smoked and dried has a lower chance of being contaminated by bacteria, but not completely.

Why can’t you eat red meat while pregnant?

Therefore, even though you may have cooked (or ordered) that steak medium-rare before your baby arrived, you must now avoid eating blood-red meat. Undercooked meat (and poultry) can harbor such bacteria as E. Salmonella, E. coli, and trichinella can all result in severe food poisoning or toxoplasmosis.

Is it safe to eat Beef Jerky?

To safely make jerky, the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline currently advises heating meat to 160 °F and poultry to 165 °F before dehydrating it. This procedure guarantees that any bacteria will be killed by wet heat.

Is turkey jerky bad for pregnancy?

Due to its high sodium content, turkey jerky may not be the best choice for expectant mothers. Consuming too much sodium can lead to swelling and water retention, which can make pregnancy more uncomfortable. Toxoplasmosis: The parasite Toxoplasma gondii causes the infection known as toxoplasmosis.

Leave a Comment