can you eat corned beef while pregnant

Can You Eat Corned Beef While Pregnant?

Corned beef has been around for a long time, and it’s considered a delicacy in many parts of the world. But can you eat corned beef while pregnant?

There is no definitive answer as to whether or not pregnant women can safely eat corned beef. The general consensus is that it’s okay in moderation and as part of a healthy, balanced diet. However, some precautions should be considered before eating any meat during pregnancy. In this article, we’ll discuss whether it is advisable to eat corned beef while pregnant and how to ensure you get the most out of it nutritionally. So, let’s get started!

Can you eat corned beef sandwich while pregnant?

Corned beef is safe to eat when pregnant, as long as you take precautions. It is important to ensure the cured meat is cooked thoroughly before consuming it. Canned corned beef is precooked to temperatures of around 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Bacteria at this temperature are killed by pressurized cooking and sterilization, making the meat safe to put on a sandwich and consume for pregnant women. If you have any leftovers, they should be cooked again to the exact temperatures to kill any bacteria such as Listeria, that might have contaminated the food.

can you eat corned beef sandwich while pregnant

It is also important to note that corned beef is a cured meat that is high in sodium and salt. Because of this, it should be consumed in moderation while pregnant. To reduce the amount of salt consumed, it is recommended to rinse the corned beef thoroughly before cooking it. In addition, pregnant women should avoid processed meats containing nitrates, such as bacon and hot dogs.

Can you eat corned beef hash while pregnant?

Corned beef hash is safe for pregnant women so long as it is cooked thoroughly and served hot. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) advises that all ground beef is to be cooked to an internal temperature of 160°F to ensure safety during pregnancy. Corned beef hash can contain additional ingredients such as potatoes, onions, celery, bell peppers, carrots, and seasonings that can add to the complexity of cooking it.

Is Corned Beef Considered Deli Meat?

Corned beef is cured meat prepared from beef or pork, typically brined and boiled in water with seasonings such as salt, sugar, pepper, cloves, and bay leaves. The curing process produces flavorful, salty meat often used in dishes such as Reuben sandwiches and popular snacks like slim jims.

Deli meat is typically processed and cured meats, such as luncheon meats, cold cuts, and hot dogs. Corned beef is considered deli meat and can be found in the refrigerated section of your grocery store. Corned beef can also be purchased canned or cooked.

Why can’t pregnant women eat deli meat?

If corned beef is consumed when pregnant, you may increase the risk of foodborne illnesses like Listeriosis. Listeriosis can pose a hazard to pregnant women and their unborn babies. If you were to consume any food contaminated with Listeria, it could result in fetal Listeriosis, which doctors say has a mortality rate of up to 35%. This is a great risk to you and your unborn baby and should be avoided at all costs.

Pregnant women are particularly susceptible to this foodborne illness because their immune system is weakened during pregnancy. Therefore, taking extra precautions when consuming deli meat, including corned beef, is important.

why can't pregnant women eat deli meat

Furthermore, deli meats, such as cured flesh, can be high in sodium. Consuming too much sodium while pregnant could increase your risk of hypertension and preeclampsia. Additionally, too much sodium can lead to dehydration, which pregnant women should be especially mindful of, as it can cause premature labor.

To reduce your risk of foodborne illnesses when consuming corned beef, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends heating deli meats to an internal temperature of 165°F before eating.

What meats should you avoid when pregnant?

A pregnant woman should avoid the following meats:

Raw or undercooked meat

Eating raw or undercooked meat poses a threat of contracting toxoplasmosis, which can cause miscarriage. Additionally, raw or uncooked meat may contain bacteria such as Salmonella and E. coli, which can be dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn babies.

Smoked meat

Smoked meat, such as beef jerky, should be avoided due to the nitrates used in the curing process. These additives are not considered safe for pregnant women to consume.

Processed meat

Processed meats, such as bacon and sausages, contain high levels of fat and sodium, which can be unhealthy for pregnant women. Additionally, certain processed meats have also been linked to increased cancer risk.

Liver and all liver products

The liver and its products have a lot of Vitamin A. This vitamin is harmful to your unborn baby if consumed in large amounts.

Game meats

Game meats such as pheasant or goose might contain lead shots, and you should avoid these meats during pregnancy. Lead poisoning can be harmful to the unborn baby’s development.

What meat is safe for a pregnant woman?

Meat such as beef, pork, or chicken, as long as it is well cooked and safe from contamination, is considered safe for pregnant women. This includes cured meat, typically made from brisket or round cuts of beef cured in a brine solution. When cooked correctly, cured beef is safe for pregnant women to eat.

However, it would be best if you were extra careful with pork, burgers, and poultry while pregnant. Undercooked, raw, or contaminated meat can pose a risk of food poisoning and should be avoided.

what meat is safe for pregnant women

How to eat corned beef safely during pregnancy

You may crave corned beef during pregnancy, so here are 5 tips to help you enjoy this tasty meat safely:

1. Check the label

Look for ingredients like nitrates, which could be unhealthy. Ensure the meat is nitrate free and of good quality.

2. Cook it properly

Ensure you cook the corned beef all the way through to an internal temperature of at least 145 °F. Undercooked meat can contain bacteria, making you and your baby sick. Contact your doctor or a health care provider if you feel ill or experience symptoms such as diarrhea. Other symptoms, including nausea, can be confused with pregnancy symptoms, therefore you need to contact a health care provider.

3. Check the expiration date

Ensure you buy corned beef within its expiration date before cooking it. If your corned beef has expired, throw it away and do not consume it.

4. Avoid consuming cold corned beef

Cold corned beef is not recommended for pregnant women. Cold cuts can contain Listeria and should be avoided in pregnancy. If you buy cold corned beef from the store, it is best to reheat it to steaming hot before eating. This ensures that any bacteria that might be present are killed.

5. Do not eat if you are in doubt

If you are unsure if the corned beef is properly cooked, it is better to avoid eating it. Eating undercooked meat can pose a risk of food poisoning, so it is best to be cautious and pay close attention to food safety guidelines.

Overall, corned beef is safe for pregnant women if it is cooked properly and is not contaminated. In addition to following the above tips, it is still important that you follow your doctor’s advice about what you eat during pregnancy. They will be able to provide individualized advice for you and help make sure that you are eating a healthy and balanced diet.

What meat is best for the first trimester?

During the first trimester of pregnancy, it is important to prioritize nutrition and ensure your diet consists of nutrient-rich foods. During this time, the fetus rapidly develops and needs essential minerals, vitamins, and fatty acids for proper growth.

The best meats for the first trimester are lean cuts of beef, pork, chicken, and turkey. These are a good source of protein and essential nutrients the fetus needs for development. It is important to cook these meats thoroughly to avoid any foodborne illnesses.

Foods to avoid during pregnancy

One thing you must learn while pregnant is what not to eat. It can be a risk to both you and your baby’s health. Here are 8 foods to avoid during pregnancy:

1. Raw eggs

Raw eggs might be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. The symptoms of this infection include nausea, stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea. In rare cases, this infection can result in uterus cramps leading to stillbirth or premature birth. Foods that contain raw eggs include hollandaise sauce, poached eggs, and lightly scrambled eggs.

2. Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant and too much of it can cause your baby to be born premature or suffer from low birth weight. It also increases the risk of miscarriage, so it’s best to avoid it altogether. Caffeine is absorbed very quickly and easily passed to the placenta. Since the unborn babies do not have the necessary enzyme to metabolize caffeine, their levels build up.

3. Alcohol

Alcohol can have particularly damaging effects on an unborn baby and is the leading preventable cause of congenital disabilities worldwide. It can lead to miscarriage, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD), and other developmental disabilities. Alcohol passes through the placenta to the baby, and it’s best to stay away from alcohol altogether while pregnant.

4. Processed junk foods

Junk food has no nutritional value and can lead to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease. Eating these foods during pregnancy can increase the risk of congenital disabilities, low birth weight, and premature delivery. Processed junk foods include meat sticks, chips, french fries, candy bars and soda.

5. Unwashed produce

Unwashed produce can contain harmful bacteria, such as E. coli and Salmonella. Unwashed fruits and vegetables are more likely to have parasites like worms. Eating these can lead to food poisoning, which can cause serious complications during pregnancy, including miscarriages.

6. Organ meat

Organ meat such as liver is very nutritious with high levels of vitamin A. Having said that, this vitamin can be harmful if consumed in large amounts. Excessive amounts of vitamin A can lead to miscarriages and other pregnancy-related complications.

7. High mercury fish

Mercury is highly toxic, with no known safe levels of exposure. It can damage an unborn baby’s brain and nervous system in higher amounts. Fish that is high in mercury include shark, tilefish, swordfish, king mackerel, and albacore tuna. You should stick to low mercury fish such as crab, shrimp and clam.

8. Raw or undercooked fish

Raw or undercooked fish can also be dangerous to consume during pregnancy. Fish contains many essential nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids and protein. But raw or undercooked fish can contain bacteria and parasites that harm the unborn baby.

raw or uncooked fish

Learn more about the foods you should and shouldn’t eat while pregant by checking out our article “can you eat these 50 foods while pregnant?


1. Is corned beef considered processed meat?

Yes, corned beef is processed meat because it has been cured and contains high sodium and nitrates. Pregnant women should avoid eating processed meats such as corned beef.

2. Can I eat canned or cooked corned beef while pregnant?

No, canned or cooked corned beef is not recommended for pregnant women as it still contains high sodium and nitrates. Eating canned or cooked corned beef during pregnancy can put you and your baby at risk of food poisoning. However, if the craving is there, you can occasionally consume it in small amounts. It is best to avoid it altogether or limit intake as much as possible.

3. What is the difference between corned beef and brisket?

Corned beef is made from a cut of meat called brisket. The beef is cured with salt and then cooked and served hot or cold. Brisket is a cut of meat from the breast of beef or veal. The brisket can be cooked in many ways, from slow-cooked barbecues to shredded tacos. It is important to note that both corned beef and brisket should be avoided during pregnancy.


Pregnant women should always be mindful of their diet and avoid foods that can pose a risk to the unborn baby. Corned beef is considered processed meat and should be avoided during pregnancy. Eating corned beef can expose you and your baby to high levels of sodium or nitrates, which can cause food poisoning and other complications. Eating canned or cooked corned beef in small amounts occasionally is okay, but it is still best to avoid it.