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Is It Safe to Eat Hamburgers While Pregnant?

author image Carolyn Robbins
Carolyn Robbins began writing in 2006. Her work appears on various websites and covers various topics including neuroscience, physiology, nutrition and fitness. Robbins graduated with a bachelor of science degree in biology and theology from Saint Vincent College.
Is It Safe to Eat Hamburgers While Pregnant?
Woman eating hamburger Photo Credit: amana imagesRF/amana images/Getty Images

Although high in fat, hamburgers do contain some nutrients beneficial to you and your baby, including iron and protein. Proper preparation is key to enjoying ground meat without risking bacterial illness, however. Opt for the leanest possible ground beef to make your hamburger a little healthier.

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Safety Concerns

Raw or undercooked ground beef may be contaminated with pathogens, including E. coli and salmonella. A type of food poisoning called salmonellosis, caused by contaminated food, is particularly dangerous as it can be transmitted from mother to child. An infant who contracts salmonellosis in the womb may have fever and diarrhea at birth and is at risk for contracting meningitis.

Food Safety

Enjoy an occasional hamburger, but make sure it is properly prepared. All ground meats should be cooked to 160 degrees Fahrenheit, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Resources. If you are dining out, ask the cook to check the internal temperature of the hamburger patty. Never eat a hamburger that is pink in the middle -- the patty should be brown all the way through.

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