Can I Eat Prosciutto While Pregnant?
Prosciutto is not a lump of cooked meat, as is the case with salami, chorizo, and pepperoni.
There is a small chance that it will be unsafe for pregnant women because it has been cured and fermentable.
It is not safe for a pregnant woman to eat prosciutto if it is not cooked or heated.
Potentially harmful bacteria, such as those that cause listeriosis or toxoplasmosis, can be killed by heating prosciutto.
There are times when you can eat prosciutto and we will look at them here.
Some of the best dishes that you can enjoy while pregnant will be covered in this article so that you can still enjoy your prosciutto safely.
Is Prosciutto Safe During Pregnancy?
It is not a good idea to eat any kind of cold uncooked prosciutto during your pregnancies due to the risk of listeria or other diseases.
If it was thoroughly heated or crisped up, then it should be fine to eat immediately after it cools.
Types of Prosciutto
It is important to know the different types of prosciutto and whether they are cooked or not, as this has a bearing on whether you can eat them safely in pregnant women.
Prosciutto means “thoroughly dried” and “crudo” means “raw” in Italian. It is unsafe to eat prosciutto crudo even though it has been cured.
You can usually find prosciutto slices with melon or figs, in sandwiches, or a salad with basil and mozzarella cheese as part of a deli platter.
Prosciutto has been produced in the Parma region of Italy and is known as Parma ham.
The European Union protects the name ‘parma ham‘ and it can only be used for prosciutto produced in that region of Italy.
The other main type of prosciutto is called cotto, or cotto salami, which is similar to regular cooked ham.
Cotto needs to be heated up for it to be safe to eat.
Another type of prosciutto called culatello, which is made from a smaller cut of the pig’s thigh and has been cured with the wine which gives it a deeper color of red, can also be found.
If you live in Europe, you may come across Culatello on your travels, because it is not often found in the US.
Why Can’t Pregnant Women Eat Prosciutto Crudo?
It is not safe for pregnant women to eat prosciutto crudo because it is not cooked and carries a risk of transmission of parasites.
Listeria was found to be one of the most prevalent types of bacteria in one study that examined the levels of listeria in cured meats.
There can be a lot of stillbirths and You and your unborn child can suffer serious health consequences from toxoplasmosis, which can be contracted from cured meats, cat litter, and soil.
Prosciutto is off the menu during pregnancy, but there are other ways to eat it safely, such as cooking it.
Is Cooked or Crispy Prosciutto Safe to Eat When Pregnant?
When pregnant, cooked prosciutto is safe to eat if it has been cooked to the correct temperature.
Prosciutto should be cooked all the way through to be safe, and it should be cooked at a temperature of at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.
You have a visual cue as to how hot your food needs to be if you don’t have a reliable food temperature.
Prosciutto should not be left at room temperature for more than 2 hours after it has been cooked.
It is typically baked at high temperatures, so you will be happy to know that crispy prosciutto falls into the safe category.
Can You Eat Cold Packaged Prosciutto During Pregnancy?
You might think that pre-packaged prosciutto is safe to eat straight from the packet as it has been sealed for freshness, but this is not the case, as the meat is still not cooked and is unsafe to eat while pregnant.
You still need to cook it thoroughly before you eat it, even if you get it from your local deli, supermarket, or Italian grocery store.
Safe Ways to Enjoy Prosciutto When Pregnant
There are some delicious, pregnant-safe dishes that you can enjoy with cooked or shirtless prosciutto.
Crunchy prosciutto crisps
Baked and eaten like fries as they are, or sprinkled on salads, soups, pasta, eggs, baked potatoes, and other dishes (think bacon but better!
Prosciutto on pizza
As some pizza places put warm or cold slices on top of a pizza, it’s a good idea to cook it until it is steaming hot.
It is a good idea to check with the restaurant before you order. There is a complete guide for you on the subject of pizza topping.
Prosciutto as a veggie or fish wrapping
If you want to cook asparagus, green beans, artichokes, scallops, or fish fillets, you can wrap them around with prosciutto and pop them under the grill.
Prosciutto on kebabs
Before cooking, use alternate pieces of prosciutto with vegetables, meat, or a mixture.
These extra salty and fried bits of meat add a delicious flavor to cooked veggies, risottos, and salads, even if they aren’t the healthiest option. They can also be sprinkled on winter soups.
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