Last Updated on by Eat Better Move More

Can I Eat Prosciutto While Pregnant?

Just as it is with pepperoni, chorizo, and salami, Prosciutto is an uncooked, fermented, and cured meat. Therefore, there are measures of risks associated with its consumption, especially for expectant mothers. 

Except it is heated or cooked, pregnant women are advised to steer clear from it. Potentially dangerous bacteria in this food product will be killed upon its exposure to heat. These bacteria can lead to severe medical conditions like toxoplasmosis or listeriosis. 

But, is the consumption of Prosciutto entirely wrong? The truth is that there are situations where eating Prosciutto would not be dangerous to your health, and we will soon check them out.

Most people love dishes cooked with it, and in this article, we’ll brief you on some of the best of these dishes that you can eat even though pregnant, without worrying yourself of any looking complications. 

So, the question goes again…Can I eat Prosciutto while pregnant?

Can I Eat Prosciutto While Pregnant

What Pregnant Women Should Know About The Different Prosciutto Types 

It is essential to know that there are different Prosciutto types irrespective of whether they may be uncooked or cooked, so knowing which to consume as an expectant mother is crucial.

Prosciutto is typically used to refer to prosciutto crudo. The ‘crudo’ in the name means ‘raw’ and ‘prosciutto’ means ‘completely dried.’

Because it was cured earlier, Prosciutto Crudo may appear as if it was cooked, but it doesn’t stop being unsafe.

You’ll normally see thinly sliced cold prosciutto crudo served with mouth-watering appetizers like prosciutto slices with figs or melon in sandwiches. You’ll also see it in Caprese salad with mozzarella cheese and basil.

Some regions refer to the Prosciutto that was made in Parma, Italy, as Parma ham.

The title ‘Parma ham’ has been protected by the EU and has prohibited other people from technically using it, except for the Prosciutto manufactured in Parma ham, Italy. 

Prosciutto Cotto Pregnancy Recommendations

The other major prosciutto type is known as Cotto salami, or simply, Cotto. It bears some measure of similarity to the normally cooked ham. So, can you eat salami while pregnant? The truth is that you need to stick to some recommendations before the ‘can you eat salami while pregnant’ question could be a resounding yes!

Just as in the other deli meats, the Prosciutto Cotto pregnancy recommendations demand that it be thoroughly heated to render it safe for consumption by expectant mothers.

It is possible that you may have come across culatello, which is another prosciutto type produced from a much smaller slice of a pig’s thigh, and treated with to render it its characteristic deep red coloration. 

You may be disappointed when you go on a shopping spree, looking for culatello in the United States because you may likely not see it there. But you have a higher chance of seeing it across European countries. 

Is Crispy Or Cooked Prosciutto Safe For Consumption During Pregnancy?

Crisped cooked Prosciutto that was heated at the right temperature is safe for consumption by pregnant women.

Cured prosciutto pork should b heated to a temperature no lower than 71°C (160°F) and also cooked very well to make it safe for eating. 

Okay, indeed, you may not have a dependable food thermometer, then you already have a visual cue of what should be done when you thoroughly cook your Prosciutto.

Once you are done cooking it, do not leave it to cool beyond room temperature for more than two hours. Always know that you can eat Prosciutto safely by thoroughly cooking it before consumption.

Because crisp Prosciutto is baked at a very high temperature, you’ll have not problem eating it because the oven’s heat must have destroyed the harmful microorganism in it.

Can You Eat A Cold-Packaged Prosciutto While Pregnant?

You may think that an already packaged prosciutto is safe for you to eat immediately after opening it from its package because it had been sealed. But that doesn’t stop it from being unsafe, as it was still not cooked. 

Whether you bought the cold Prosciutto from the supermarket, your local deli, or an Italian grocer you admire because of his neatness, you are still advised to cook it very well before eating it. 

Safe Ways of Enjoying Prosciutto When Pregnant 

Below are examples of tasty and safe dishes that you can eat with crispy or cooked Prosciutto while pregnant:

Crunchy prosciutto crisps 

Crispy-baked Prosciutto and consumed just like the fries that they are. You can also sprinkle them on pasta, soups, salads, baked potatoes, eggs, and other dishes.

Prosciutto and Pizza 

Endeavour to have your Prosciutto cooked until it becomes steaming hot, and place cold or warm slices of Prosciutto onto a pizza after cooking. Before ordering this dish, it is important to check with the restaurant. 

Prosciutto as fish wrapping or a veggie 

Wrap your Prosciutto around artichokes, green beans, asparagus, fish fillets, or scallops. After that, pop every other thing underneath the broiler until you have crispy Prosciutto.

Prosciutto and Kebabs 

Mix prosciutto pieces with meat, veggies, or any other suitable mixture before cooking. 

Deep-fried Prosciutto 

These extra-fried and salty meat pieces may not be the safest alternative, but they incorporate a tasty flavor to cooked salads, risottos, and veggies.

It is understandable if you have eaten Prosciutto without first cooking it. But now that you know, don’t play with your health and that of your unborn child’s. 

Can I Eat Prosciutto While Pregnant Conclusion

Not cleared on the question, ‘can I eat prosciutto while pregnant?’

As implied above, any type of prosciutto that is not cooked correctly – irrespective of what they call it – should not be consumed for health complications that can lead to infections, courtesy to the harmful bacteria in it.  

Cooked, but cold Prosciutto is okay if it was severally crisped up or heated, and consumed immediately, it cools.  

Pregnant women are advised against Prosciutto Crudo because of the uncooked nature of cured meats; hence there is always that risk of transferring harmful microorganisms that can lead to toxoplasmosis and listeria.

According to a reliable research study that studied the Listeria levels in meats formerly cured, the most common bacteria found in these meats are Listeria monocytogens – with levels anything from 17 – 36%. 

Listeria can lead to several complications in pregnancy, such as miscarriage. 

You can contract toxoplasmosis through the oil, cat litter, and cured meat, and it may lead to severe health challenges for your unborn kid and you.


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