How do you cook that cut of beef you’ve got in the fridge now that you’re expecting? Can you eat medium steak while pregnant? Let’s explore.
Keeping on top of all your new pregnancy dietary rules can be a lot — the amount of dos and don’ts of eating while pregnant can be a little dizzying.
You may already know to stay clear of raw or rare meat while pregnant.
But what if it’s a little more cooked through than that? Where do you draw the line?
Can you eat medium steak while pregnant? How about medium-rare, or medium-well steak?
Here’s everything you need to know about eating steak the way you like it while pregnant.
In this article: 📝
- Can you eat medium-rare steak while pregnant?
- Can pregnant women eat medium-well steak?
Can you eat medium-rare steak while pregnant?
The short answer here is a hard no. (Sorry, mama.)
The most important thing to remember when preparing meat while pregnant is: the more thoroughly it’s cooked, the safer it is to eat.
The main reason for this is that pregnant people are much more susceptible to listeriosis, an infection caused by bacteria called listeria which can be found in uncooked meat.
And although listeriosis is pretty rare, if you get it, you risk passing it on to your baby.
In extreme cases, this could lead to pre-term labor, miscarriage, or stillbirth.
If you’ve eaten a steak that seemed a little on the pink side, and you’re worried about an infection, keep an eye out for these symptoms of listeriosis:
- Mild flu-like symptoms, including a fever
- Muscle aches
It’s worth pointing out, though, that one of the main issues with listeriosis is that some people present no symptoms at all, so you may have it and not realize it.
So if you have any cause for concern, see a doctor as soon as you can.
Listeriosis can be treated with antibiotics, and the sooner you manage it, the better.
Sometimes, raw or undercooked meat can also lead to an infection called toxoplasmosis.
This is caused by a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii.
More than 40 million people in the United States are likely infected with this parasite — and many of them won’t even know it.
But if you’re pregnant or have a compromised immune system, it can cause health issues.
Some doctors will test for toxoplasmosis in the early stages of pregnancy or if you’re TTC, as mild cases won’t display any symptoms.
If you develop it during pregnancy, it can be harmful to your baby. Chat to your health professional if you’re worried.
Can pregnant women eat medium-well steak?
It’s no longer raw or bloody, so it should be OK, right? Well, yes, and no.
Although there’s less risk eating a medium or a medium well steak, our advice is to steer clear of anything that’s not piping hot all the way through.
The FDA advises that for pregnant people, steak should have an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees Fahrenheit (62.78 degrees Celsius) in order for it to be considered safe.
Those temperatures will minimize the risk of a bacterial infection.
So what does that mean in practical terms for that delicious piece of steak you’ve been eyeing up for dinner?
Here’s a handy guide to the internal temperature of beef steaks at varying levels of done-ness:
- Blue: 115-120 degrees Fahrenheit
- Rare: 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit
- Medium-rare: 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit
- Medium: 140-150 degrees Fahrenheit
- Medium-well: 150-156 degrees Fahrenheit
- Well done: 160-210 degrees Fahrenheit
So although a medium steak may technically be hot enough to pass the test in some cases, erring on the side of caution is always the way to go when it comes to you and your little one.
It’s best to follow the ‘no pink’ rule:
If there’s any trace of blood or pink, stick it back on the grill for a bit longer.
The same goes for lamb, burgers, and any other meats you may have previously enjoyed with a little pink in the middle.
You definitely don’t have to forgo steak altogether, though.
Beef contains plenty of iron, which you’ll need lots of as your baby grows.
Just make sure it’s well done, and you’re good to go!
🥩 More on pregnancy foods:
Can Pregnant Women Eat Shrimp?
Can Pregnant Women Eat Salmon?
Can Pregnant Women Eat Hot Dogs?
Can Pregnant Women Eat Crab?
Can Pregnant Women Eat Lobster?
Can Pregnant Women Eat Tuna?
Can Pregnant Women Eat Sushi?
Can Pregnant Women Eat Crawfish?
Can Pregnant Women Eat Pork?
Can Pregnant Women Eat Calamari?
Can Pregnant Women Eat Salami?
Can Pregnant Women Eat Mussels?
Can Pregnant Women Eat Scallops?
Can Pregnant Women Eat Bacon?
Can You Eat Spicy Food While Pregnant?
Can You Eat Cherries While Pregnant?
Can You Eat Seaweed While Pregnant?
Can You Take Collagen While Pregnant?
Can You Eat Beef Jerky While Pregnant?