Can You Eat Pink Steak While 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.

Pregnancy can cause strange cravings; for some women, this can be as strange as oysters or Kerrygold butter.

One of the most typical cravings we’ll talk about is pink steak. 

Some think this food is to be frowned upon.

This article will explore all the information about pink steak and help you make an informed decision. So, can you eat pink steak while pregnant?

Can you eat pink steak while pregnant?

No, it’s best to avoid pink steak while pregnant. Pink steak is another term for “rare,” a meat that is not cooked all the way through. 

This means it can harbor bacteria that may harm you and your baby. This bacteria may involve E. coli, salmonella, and listeria. 

These can cause food poisoning, which is especially dangerous for pregnant women. Symptoms of food poisoning include nausea, vomiting, cramps, and diarrhea.

Furthermore, other risks are also associated with rare meat, such as toxoplasmosis. 

This is a parasitic infection that can cause serious health problems for both the mother and the baby. The disease is usually found in undercooked or raw meat, as well as in contaminated water. 

Toxoplasmosis can cause miscarriage, a stillborn baby, or a baby with congenital toxoplasmosis. In this condition, the baby is born with long-term health problems.

How should my steak be cooked when pregnant?

If you’re pregnant and crave steak, cook it until it’s well done. 

This means that the juices should run clear, and no pink meat should be left. 

You can request that your steak be cooked this way when eating out. Keep in mind, though, that well-done steak is not as tender or juicy as rare steak, but this is a safer preparation.

Each has its own preferences when it comes to cooking steak. But according to FDA, pregnant women should have meat and other poultry thoroughly cooked to a safe internal temperature. 

To determine the temperature, use a clean food thermometer. Here are the recommendations:

  • meat like beef, pork, veal, lamb, steaks and chops: at least 145° F or 63° C (medium) with a 3-minute rest time
  • ground beef, pork, lamb, and veal: 160° F or 71° C.

Can you eat wagyu beef when pregnant?

Wagyu beef is a type of premium steak known for its marbled fat content. It’s usually cooked rare or medium-rare, which means it might still contain bacteria if not cooked properly. 

So, wagyu beef is best avoided unless you follow the recommended cooking temperature for this steak.


Pink steak is a no-no during pregnancy. This is because pink steak is rare, and undercooked meat can harbor bacteria that may cause food poisoning or toxoplasmosis. 

If you wish to satisfy your cravings, have it well done instead. This includes any beef, like Wagyu beef. Pregnant women should have meat and other poultry thoroughly cooked to a safe internal temperature. 

For other concerns, it’s always best to ask your doctor or healthcare provider.