Can You Eat Pancetta When Pregnant? [Explained]

Verified by Edna Skopljak MD
Verified by Edna Skopljak MD

Edna Skopljak is a medical doctor and an editor at BJBMS medical journal. She graduated from the University of Sarajevo School of Science and Technology.

While pregnant, ensuring that you eat a healthy and balanced diet is essential. It involves getting enough protein and essential vitamins and minerals. Can Pancetta be part of this diet? 

Pancetta is an Italian bacon made with pork belly, spices, and salt. It has a smoky flavor and is usually served as an appetizer or used in cooking. 

While the ingredients used to make Pancetta themselves are safe for pregnant women to consume, there are some concerns about eating it while pregnant. So, can you eat Pancetta when pregnant?

Can you eat Pancetta when pregnant?

The short answer is yes, as long as it is properly cooked. The Pancetta should be heated or cooked at a high temperature to ensure that any bacteria present in the pork are killed off. This is also because pregnant women should, at all costs, avoid eating raw or undercooked meat products like Pancetta due to the risk of food poisoning.

Additionally, pregnant women should take caution when consuming cured meats like Pancetta as these products may contain nitrates and nitrites, both of which can harm a developing fetus. 

Therefore, it is best to limit the consumption of these foods during pregnancy or opt for uncured versions whenever possible.

Finally, it is essential to remember that while pregnant, it is vital to maintain a balanced diet. 

It means limiting the intake of fatty meat products like Pancetta and instead focusing on getting adequate amounts of protein from lean sources such as eggs, fish, and poultry.

Benefits of Pancetta during pregnancy 

Despite the risks associated with eating Pancetta while pregnant, some benefits could make it a good choice for expecting mothers. 

For example, Pancetta is high in protein which can help to support healthy fetal development. Additionally, opting for an uncured version of the product can be a great source of B vitamins and iron essential for healthy fetal growth. 

Can you eat pre-cooked bacon when pregnant?

Yes, pre-cooked bacon is generally safe for pregnant women to eat since it has been adequately cooked, which means they were heated to an internal temperature so that no harmful bacteria will remain. 


Additionally, it is essential to check the label and ensure that the bacon does not contain nitrates or nitrites. As mentioned above, these can harm the developing fetus. 

Does Pancetta have alcohol?

No, Pancetta does not typically have any alcohol in it. However, it is vital to check the label of the product you are purchasing to make sure that no additional ingredients have been added that may contain alcohol.


While pregnant women can eat Pancetta, it is essential to ensure that it has been cooked properly and that they limit their consumption due to the potential risks associated with the ingredients. 

If you eat Pancetta while pregnant, opt for an uncured version and remember to maintain a balanced diet with adequate amounts of protein from lean sources. It is essential to check the label of any pre-cooked bacon product for additional ingredients containing alcohol. 

And the best thing for pregnant women to do is consult with their doctor or healthcare provider before consuming any cured meats like Pancetta.