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Craving big fat juicy rare steak

(50 Posts)
GoodnessMeNoGinInTheHouse Sat 02-Feb-13 15:22:31

Ok another food related thread from me!

I am craving rare steak. I know I can't have it. My diet is good, I'm taking pregnancy vitamins, so have no idea where this craving for bloody meat has come from!?! What can I have rather than well done steak which might not fill this void!!?? It is the rareness and blood I am after!! Must be something to do with iron? I am currently 11 weeks pregnant...

RibenaFiend Sun 03-Feb-13 17:35:39

I'm not PG but my god I want a rare steak now!!!

And a glass of Rioja

...And salad (of course!)

LazyMachine Sun 03-Feb-13 21:05:03

Eat the steak and have a side of spinach. Your body is probably craving protein - very common in pregnancy. Ignore the scare-mongering. You're more likely to get toxoplasmosis via gardening than from a cooked steak!

JumpHerWho Sun 03-Feb-13 21:09:19

I had rare steak throughout pregnancy. The ones from M and S with a black pepper coating, big thick juicy rump steaks in vacuum packaging. Yum. Just make sure they are v fresh and sear all sides including edges iyswim. And have a heap of green veg with butter on the side, and a small glass of Malbec. And then an oozing chocolate dessert of course grin

lightrain Sun 03-Feb-13 21:22:06

Bumpitybump, I'm sorry that you went through that but nhs guidelines state that rare steak - provided seared well on the outside, is perfectly fine to eat. Rare burgers, or other times made of minced meat (eg. Steak tartare) are not okay.

HazleNutt Sun 03-Feb-13 21:34:03

NHS seems to have revised this position:

Avoid rare meat. The Department of Health previously advised that it was fine to eat whole cuts of beef and lamb rare, as long as the outside had been properly cooked. As a precaution, this advice has now been removed while a food safety committee (The Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food) looks into the issue of toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite that can be found in meat, soil, cat faeces and untreated water. If you are pregnant the infection can damage your baby, but it's important to remember that toxoplasmosis in pregnancy is very rare.

www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/foods-to-avoid-pregnant.aspx#Raw

Bue Sun 03-Feb-13 23:41:08

There are quite a few experts in the field of toxoplasmosis who believe that no one should be eating rare lamb or beef because of the risks. There is obviously no way this is going to become official advice because joints of meat are part of our cultural diet, but this is one pregnancy food 'rule' I would probably stick by (and I usually say to hell with all these silly rules). The risk is teeny tiny but the consequence for the fetus can be catastrophic. By contrast the guidance on undercooked eggs and salmonella is just ridiculous - all an egg can give you is a bad case of food poisoning.

twinklesparkles Mon 04-Feb-13 08:49:18

Mmmmm rare steak <3 want it so rare its still mooing

And a runny egg

And some pate

And a wkd blue grin

DanniiH Mon 04-Feb-13 09:37:50

I'm 5 weeks in to my 2nd pregnancy, I followed most guidelines the 1st time but I'm taking the more French approach this time, I already had dippy eggs. Thing is my friend was pregnant about a year after me and the steak rule changed saying it could be rare as long as it's sealed on the outside. I was pretty pee'd off to find this had changed when I got pregnant again so I'm going to eat a big fat rare filet steak if I'm in a nice restaurant! The way I think of it is to ask myself have I ever had food poisoning from steak, eggs or anything actually? Nope! Treat yourself to a really good quality steak from a reputable place, give it a good sear in a hot pan all around the edges and enjoy! The stress of wanting it is probably causing more harm than if you just ate it! x

GinAndSlimlinePlease Mon 04-Feb-13 09:49:42

I think most french ladies are actually really strict about what they eat in pregnancy...

Anyway, I'm now craving a large juicy steak, salty chips and a salad smile I can give the wine a miss, as luckily I've gone off the thought of wine! Pregnancy does weird things to our body!

DanniiH Mon 04-Feb-13 09:49:52

Also something I found out is that toxoplasmosis is only harmful to a foetus if you get it for the first time when you're pregnant. Anyone who grew up with cats or eating a bit of soil have probably already had it and you have an immunity. My friend got worried and her midwife told her this. x

weeblueberry Mon 04-Feb-13 09:59:29

I think if you're going to say 'I won't eat a rare steak because of the risk of toxoplasmosis' that's absolutely your prerogative. However I do hope people realise the risk of the risk of catching it is much higher from a packaged salad or sandwich. Or from vegetables that haven't been scrubbed clean.

cakesonatrain Mon 04-Feb-13 10:45:00

Oh, I really want a steak now! I have stuck pretty well to the Rules this time, apart from dippy eggs once past first trimester.
I think I'll probably wait this time too, then get DH to make me a big steaky, pate platter of deliciousness!

HazleNutt Mon 04-Feb-13 12:48:54

Dannii, you are right that if you get toxo before you get pregnant, you would be immune. But you're not necessarily immune if you have cats - I've had cats all my life, currently have 3, and I don't have immunity. (I live in France, they test all pregnant women for toxo here. And yes, the advice here is not to eat rare steak).

apachepony Mon 04-Feb-13 13:04:24

I had cats too, also wasn't immune and caught it in early pregnancy. Like the earlier poster thankfully it didn't pass to my baby but it certainly was a lot if worry and heartache. My hospital screened all babies for toxo for a 2 year period a few years ago - 15 babies over the 2 years had it which I think was a rate of 1 in 10000 or so - so rare. This obviously doesn't include cases like me where the mum caught and didn't pass (think trasmission rates are 10% in early pregnancy, more in later pregnancy with less severe reaukts) or where there was a miscarriage. This is in Ireland, think uk is similar, rates much higher in France. If those 15, 2 were severely affected, others less so and can be treated. I think I caught it from my kitten, but the doctor said if the 15, only one of the mothers had contact with cats, the rest was most likely undercooked meat. So make of that info as u will - one advantage of all that worry for me is that I could eat rare steaks in later pregnancy and in future pregnancies but maybe just cos I was personally affected I would advise caution to others. As you can see though, the risk is low.

bumpitybumpbump Tue 05-Feb-13 09:24:18

I don't want to scaremonger people but all I can say is that if you take a risk be prepared to be the statistic that doesn't get away with it. I was sadly - but i have plenty of friends who ate rare steak throughout their pregnancy and were absolutely fine....my obstetrician made the point to me however that whilst an "official" might be ok with a risk of 1 in x, ask yourself whether you are happy with that becuase the person who writes the guidelines desn't have to live with the consequences. If you are well informed then of course everyone must make their own mind up - it's a very personal decision but pls don't advise others unless you have done the research or spoken to someone who specialises in fetal medicine.

Statistically the risk is low for toxo (I think it's about 1/500 pregnancies in the UK), and it's only dangerous if you catch it for the first time whist pregnant .... i grew up on a farm with 5 cats and the full range of farm animals (cows, sheep, ducks, chickens, horses, dogs). I have lived in france and ate steak tartare regularly before i got pregnant. Yet I was NOT immune to toxoplasmosis and managed to catch it despite living in Central London, zero contacts with cats or soil (although I can't rule out restaurant veg) and I literally ate two mouthfuls of one bloody steak - I was so sick with MS at this stage that i practically lived off crunchy nut cornflakes so trust me, I was stunned to learn that I'd picked it up. I know this all seems ridiculous because SURELY we must all be immune if it's that easy to get, but it seems we are not - I was told that about 25% of us are immune in UK apparently (compared to over 40% in France).

I was prepared to take a lot of the guidelines with a pinch of salt before this happened but knowing what i know now I would just advise people to do a bit of research and make their own minds up - i was incredibly unlucky and apparentyl defy all statistics, but the experience we went through was utter hell and i wouldn't want anyone else to go through it uneccessarily.

If the toxo had passed to my baby in the first trimester the damage would have been pretty devastating - I am told it would have most likely miscarried. I have been more relaxed about things like runny eggs and things that might make me sick (but not harm baby), but when it comes to toxo and listeria, the two things that are known to potentially affect the foetus I've become militant (although I will be eating a massive chunck of stilton as soon as the little darling is out)!

However, like all of these statistics they have to be taken in context - the risk of catching is statiscally low (although I suspect not as low as official stats - if I was having my baby on the NHS the toxo woudl never have been picked up and I woudl probably remain blissfully ignorant as will all other women for whom it doesn't transmit to baby). Also if you do get it, it's only a problem IF it transfers to baby (low risk early pregnancy, high risk later in pregnancy), and if it does transfer to baby, the effects ca be very small if later in pregnancy (but can cause devestating effects early on).

So my advice would be to make sure you are well informed. My obstetrician said he sees at least 2 cases of toxo infections per year (he tests everyone). If you are desperate to eat steak then go and get tested (it cost about £80 which seems cheap for peace of mind)- if you're immune then happy days!!

redwellybluewelly Tue 05-Feb-13 19:33:00

How do you know that the toxo came from the cow? Rather than from home grown veg or from changing cat litter?

I don't sadly indulge in raw meat, alcohol, pate, icecream, dippy eggs (even lion marked ones) when pg

I do eat sushi from a sushi restaurant

spaghettibolognese Tue 05-Feb-13 19:49:35

Just want to say that I'm usually pretty relaxed about what foods I eat - I'd be the first to tell people to try anything and everything and am the type of person to try strange exotic foods when traveling; but I just wanted to set the record straight on the NHS guidelines (it says don't eat, not jut avoid):

"There are some foods you shouldn't eat during pregnancy because they could:

cause food poisoning, or
harm your unborn baby

.........

Don’t eat raw or undercooked meat.

Cook all meat and poultry thoroughly so there’s no trace of pink or blood. Take particular care with sausages and minced meat.

Some countries advise pregnant women not to eat cold meats or smoked fish because of the risk that the food may contain listeria bacteria. In the UK, pregnant women are not advised to avoid these foods because the risk of infection is so low. However, if you’re concerned, you may choose to avoid them."

I agree that the risk of food poisoning is low if you know where your meat is coming from and know if it's fresh, but this may not be the case for a lot (if not the majority) of women, so the risk is real and present. I'm sure your own immune system has something to do with it to.

I'm actually being cautious. I've given up so much of the stuff I love sad but prefer not to mess about with bacteria that I can't see.

NHS guidelines have changed since I had did last year. this pregnancy is way less fun grin grin

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 07-Feb-13 18:29:28

Good quality rare steak isn't going to do anything to you. I ate it, and pink lamb, several times in both pregnancies.

I wouldn't have eaten a rare burger, and I was even more careful than normal about poultry and pork and anything minced.

BettyFlutterbly Thu 07-Feb-13 20:31:27

Omg my mouth is watering so much! I totally crave raw and cured meats which I've been told not to have. I've had some smoked salmon to give me that raw taste I need!!
Apparently if you freeze cured meats first you can eat them so maybe you could do the same with your steak.
I've made veggie soup for dinner-gutted!! I really want a steak now!

ExpatAl Thu 07-Feb-13 20:48:38

Freezing stops worms and other things but if you cook meat rare you run the risk of toxo. The French way is to eat meat cooked through when pregnant. Rare meat has a real risk of toxoplasmosis. Yes, you might be lucky but it's a huge risk.

I think it is careless to take such a risk which could harm your unborn baby. IMO it's no different to taking drugs, drinking alcohol or smoking. You may think that's extreme view, but why harm something so fragile?

GoodnessMeNoGinInTheHouse Thu 07-Feb-13 21:42:06

wow I am really overwhelmed by the number of posts re rare steak! obviously it isn't just me craving it!!! I have taken the safe road as I don't want to risk anything and my poached egg scenario scared me silly. Personally for me it isn't worth the worry but haven't yet found a substitute to fill the void! But it is so interesting looking at all your viewpoints. Thanks everyone! If you find that that substitute taste sensation let me know!

themagus Thu 07-Feb-13 22:16:21

I know plenty of people who eat rare steak through pregnancy as toxo is unusual in beef (I personally steer clear). But you'd be a fool to eat pink lamb or pork. I have eaten rare meat for 20 years and have been tested as negative in my last pg, so I know I have to be careful.

Gingerpanther27 Mon 11-Feb-13 18:53:22

I'd be more worried about thR horse meat in the burgers and mince than rare steak but as someone who doesn't eat rare steak very often it's not a big deal at the moment

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