Can you eat beef jerky while pregnant?


Beef jerky is a tasty snack you might crave during pregnancy, but can you eat beef jerky while pregnant? Is it one of good pregnancy snack? The short answer to these two questions is No! It is not recommended to have beef jerky during pregnancy. Why? It will be discussed in the following parts.

In this article on Hipregnancy, there is a complete guide regarding beef jerky consumption while pregnant. To learn more about beef jerky and pregnancy, keep reading this article to the end.

What is beef jerky?

What is beef jerky?

Jerky is a kind of dried, trimmed, lean meat, which can be a good snack. The word “jerky” comes from Quechua word ch’arki, that means dried and salted meat.

This dried meat can be made from beef, lamb, venison, elk, buffalo, poultry, etc. Beef jerky is usually made by smoking or drying unprocessed meat with salt and herbs. These two methods of preparation help you keep jerky for a longer period, but they can’t kill all the harmful bacteria.

Generally speaking, only cooking meat can kill the harmful bacteria which may exist in raw meat. For example, if you want to eat pepperoni while pregnant, you should cook it at high temperature to make it a pregnancy safe option.

So, can you eat beef jerky while pregnant? Let’s talk about it in the following part.

Is it safe to eat beef jerky while pregnant?

Is it safe to eat beef jerky while pregnant?

Since beef jerky is not a well-cooked meat, it is not safe to consume it while pregnant. The same goes for eating cured meats during pregnancy.

 Overall, when you are pregnant, you should do your best to omit uncooked and even undercooked meat from your diet. Why? Because your immune system is at lower levels in comparison with other stages of your life.

Pregnant ladies are at higher risk of infections: therefore, they should avoid consuming foods being contaminated with harmful bacteria, to avoid infections including listeriosis.

As you know, beef jerky is a type of dehydrated or smoked meat, so, it is not cooked at high temperature to make it a pregnancy-safe option. Although salting and drying can kill some harmful bacteria, they can’t change beef jerky to a healthy-food, containing no bacteria.

Hipregnancy recommends you eat well-cooked meats instead of beef jerky during pregnancy to avoid any possible risks. To learn more, check what can pregnant woman eat.

Is beef jerky pasteurized?

Is beef jerky pasteurized?

Let’s start to answer this question with the definition of pasteurization. The heat-treatment process used to kill pathogenic microorganism in certain beverages and foods is called pasteurization. It is necessary to consume pasteurized foods or drink pasteurized beverages during pregnancy, as unpasteurized ones can put you at the risk of infections and illnesses.

Unfortunately, beef jerky doesn’t undergo the process of pasteurization; therefore, it is not a pasteurized-food. Consider, consuming beef jerky while pregnant is not recommended, due to being contaminated with harmful bacteria.

Beef jerky is not the only food you should put it away in pregnancy. There is a complete guide on foods to avoid while pregnant. It is not bad to take a look at it to see whether your diet contains unhealthy options needed to be changed!

What happens if I eat beef jerky while pregnant?

What happens if I eat beef jerky while pregnant?

If you eat beef jerky in pregnancy, you will put yourself at the risk of food poisoning, toxoplasmosis, and a spike in blood pressure as well. Since beef jerky is not well-cooked, it can be contaminated with harmful bacteria such as toxoplasma gondii. Unfortunately, toxoplasmosis may result is birth defects during pregnancy,

 In addition, beef jerky is high in salt and it can increase your blood pressure. Pregnant ladies should avoid consuming foods containing high amounts of salt, as high blood pressure can be followed by preterm labor and preeclampsia.

You do not need to be worried, if you ate beef jerky while pregnant, and you didn’t know it is bad for you. There is no need to contact your doctor soon after consuming beef jerky. However, if you experience any of the following signs, it is recommended to talk to a healthcare provider;

  • Persistent headaches
  • Muscle aches
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Swollen hands and feet
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Inflammation of eyes, lungs, and heart muscles as well

To prevent the mentioned potential risks, it is better not to eat beef jerky and other uncooked meats during pregnancy. Or, if you eat meats during this period, you should cook them thoroughly. For instance, if you want to have prosciutto when pregnant, you should use healthy recipes to make it a pregnancy-safe food.

Can you eat store-bought beef jerky during pregnancy?

Can you eat store-bought beef jerky during pregnancy?

You may think that consuming store-bought beef jerky is not bad for you, and your baby as well, but this idea is not true!

Even store-bought beef jerky is not safe to eat during pregnancy, as it is not a cooked meat and contains high amounts of salt, which is forbidden while pregnant. No matter, you buy beef jerky at stores, or prepare it at home. You are not allowed to eat this kind of meat during 9 months of pregnancy.

Enjoy consuming safer options instead of jerky, like a well-done steak. It is a good idea, right? Check steak and pregnancy to learn more about consuming steak while you are pregnant without facing any complications.


Pregnant ladies should consume healthy and nutritious foods to provide the nutrients their baby needs to grow and develop. This might be one of your question; Can you eat beef jerky while pregnant? No! It is not recommended to consume beef jerky during pregnancy, due to several reasons, such as increasing the chance of foodborne illness.

In this article on hi pregnancy, we covered the answer to the expecting mothers’ top questions regarding beef jerky and pregnancy. Wish you enjoyed it. However, if you still have any unanswered questions on mind, do share them with us via comment.


1. Can you eat jack link’s beef jerky while pregnant?

No, jack link’s beef jerky is not a pregnancy-safe for pregnant ladies, and the developing baby as well.

2. Can you eat beef jerky sticks while pregnant?

The same rule applies to beef jerky sticks. Since they are not cooked, you should not have them in pregnancy.

3. Can you eat smoked beef jerky while pregnant?

Smoked beef jerky can be contaminated with harmful bacteria and lead to infection; therefore, you can’t consume while you are pregnant.

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