Can You Eat Prosciutto When Pregnant?

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June 6, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers, MA (English), Certified Consultant

Yes, pregnant women can eat prosciutto, but it should be thoroughly cooked to kill any possible bacteria that could harm the mother and the baby. Prosciutto is a type of italian cured ham that is thinly sliced, uncooked, and air-dried.

It is a popular delicacy around the world and is often used as an ingredient in salads, pizzas, sandwiches, and pasta dishes. While prosciutto is high in protein and low in fat, pregnant women should be cautious about consuming it due to the risk of contracting listeriosis, a type of food poisoning caused by the bacterium listeria monocytogenes.

In this article, we will discuss what prosciutto is, the risks it poses to pregnant women and their babies, and how to enjoy it safely during pregnancy.

Can You Eat Prosciutto When Pregnant?


What Is Prosciutto?

Prosciutto is a type of italian dry-cured ham that is commonly served in a variety of dishes. It is made by salting and air-drying pork legs, and it is often thinly sliced before serving.

Definition And Origins Of Prosciutto

  • Prosciutto is a type of italian dry-cured ham that has a salty, savory taste.
  • Its origins can be traced back to ancient times, where it was used as a way to preserve meat before refrigeration was available.
  • There are two main types of prosciutto: Prosciutto di parma and prosciutto di san daniele.

Nutritional Value Of Prosciutto

  • Prosciutto is a good source of protein, with around 22 grams of protein per 100-gram serving.
  • It is also high in sodium, with around 1,000 milligrams per 100-gram serving.
  • Prosciutto is a good source of vitamins and minerals, including vitamin b12, iron, and zinc.

Popular Dishes Made With Prosciutto

  • Prosciutto is often used as a topping for pizza, as well as in pasta dishes like carbonara.
  • It can also be wrapped around fruits like melon or figs to make a tasty appetizer.
  • Prosciutto is commonly served with cheese, such as mozzarella or parmesan, as part of a charcuterie board.

Why Is Prosciutto A Popular Delicacy?

  • Prosciutto has a distinct flavor that many people find irresistible.
  • It is relatively easy to prepare and can be used in a wide variety of dishes.
  • Prosciutto is often associated with high-end dining and is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world.

Pregnancy And Diet Restrictions

Overview Of Dietary Restrictions During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is an exciting and delicate time for every woman. One of the significant aspects to consider during this period is your diet. It is vital to pay close attention to what you consume since your diet affects your baby’s growth and development.

Here are some essential dietary restrictions to keep in mind while pregnant:

  • Raw and undercooked meat
  • Seafood with elevated mercury levels
  • Unpasteurized dairy products
  • Raw or undercooked eggs
  • Caffeine

Health Risks Of Consuming Prohibited Foods During Pregnancy

Eating prohibited foods during pregnancy can expose your unborn child to various health risks. Here are some health risks of consuming prohibited foods:

  • Raw meat can contain bacteria like e. coli, toxoplasma gondii, and listeria that can cause severe infections.
  • Fish containing high levels of mercury can lead to cognitive and developmental delays in your child.
  • Unpasteurized dairy products can contain listeria, a bacteria that can cause severe infections that lead to miscarriage, premature delivery, or stillbirth.
  • Raw or undercooked eggs can contain salmonella that can cause severe vomiting, diarrhoea and dehydration.
  • Caffeine can lead to low birth weight babies and developmental delays.

Importance Of Maintaining A Balanced Diet

Maintaining a balanced diet during pregnancy is crucial for your child’s healthy growth and development. Here are some reasons why you should maintain a balanced diet:

  • Proper nutrition provides essential nutrients for your baby’s organs, tissues and nervous system development.
  • A balanced diet ensures your baby’s healthy birth weight and guards them against chronic diseases later in life.
  • A well-balanced diet also enhances your immune system, making you less vulnerable to infections.

As a pregnant woman, it is essential to take care of yourself and your unborn child. Paying close attention to your diet goes a long way in ensuring you have a healthy baby.

Can Pregnant Women Eat Prosciutto?

The Debate Around Consuming Prosciutto During Pregnancy

Prosciutto is a dry-cured ham made in italy. As tasty as it is, the debate around whether pregnant women should consume it remains ongoing. Experts are divided on this topic, and there are differing opinions. Some believe that pregnant women shouldn’t consume it because of the risk of a severe bacterial infection called listeriosis, which can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or severe illness in newborns.

Conversely, there are those who argue that the risk of infection is low as long as the meat is consumed in moderation, and the pregnant woman maintains good hygiene and food safety practices.

Risks Associated With Consuming Prosciutto During Pregnancy

The risk of listeriosis is the primary concern, along with other potential risks, such as increased sodium intake leading to high blood pressure. Pregnant women are at an increased risk of contracting listeriosis because of their decreased immune system. Avoiding prosciutto during pregnancy is essential because it can significantly increase the risk of listeria infection, which can lead to harmful consequences.

Expert Opinions And Research Findings On Consuming Prosciutto During Pregnancy

According to the american pregnancy association, pregnant women should avoid consuming prosciutto altogether to reduce the potential risk of listeria. A study in the journal of midwifery and women’s health found that pregnant women’s dietary intake of cured meats, including prosciutto, may increase the risk of preterm birth.

However, a study in the journal nutrition showed that there was no significant association between cured meat consumption and adverse outcomes in pregnancy. It is always better to consult with your healthcare provider when it comes to dietary choices during pregnancy.

The debate around consuming prosciutto during pregnancy is complex, and it remains unclear whether it is safe for pregnant women to consume in moderation. It is best to follow your healthcare provider’s advice and prioritize food safety practices to avoid any potential risks to your health and your baby’s health.

Frequently Asked Questions On Can You Eat Prosciutto When Pregnant?

Is It Safe To Eat Prosciutto When Pregnant?

Yes, but only if it’s cooked to 165°f. Raw or undercooked prosciutto may contain harmful bacteria.

What Are The Risks Of Eating Prosciutto While Pregnant?

The risks of consuming raw or undercooked prosciutto include food poisoning, which can harm the fetus.

How Much Prosciutto Can I Eat During Pregnancy?

In moderation, you can eat cooked prosciutto. Stick to one or two servings per week.

Can I Eat Cured Prosciutto During Pregnancy?

Yes, you can eat cured prosciutto in moderation during pregnancy as long as it is cooked.

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Prosciutto During Pregnancy?

Prosciutto is high in protein, iron, and vitamins, which are essential for fetal development. It also aids in maternal postpartum recovery.


Pregnancy is a wonderful time, but it can come with a lot of concerns about what to eat and what to avoid. It’s important to prioritize your health and the health of your unborn child during this time. Prosciutto is a delicious and popular type of cured meat that many people wonder about when it comes to pregnancy.

The good news is that it is safe to eat prosciutto while pregnant, as long as it is cooked and consumed in moderation. However, it’s important to remember that prosciutto, like other cured meats, is high in sodium and can be a source of bacteria if consumed raw or undercooked.

As always, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider and follow their recommendations regarding your diet during pregnancy. By taking necessary precautions and being mindful of your food choices, you can enjoy prosciutto and other delicious foods while ensuring a healthy pregnancy.

About Author (Marjorie R. Rogers)

The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Get Started To Read …