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Can I eat rare steak?

(22 Posts)
ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Wed 29-Jun-11 10:09:32

I love my steak rare and DH and I are going out for lunch today. Have a craving for steak, am I allowed it rare? Am 26+4.

Didn't want to google and read scaremongering stories, so TIA for replies smile

MmeLindor. Wed 29-Jun-11 10:14:04

Well, it depends who you ask.

Generally advice is not to, as the bacteria Listeria will not be killed off and you may develop Listeriosis, which can be dangerous for your baby.

I avoided rare steak when I was pregnant, as the risk was not worth the 20 minutes of pleasure. Some continue to eat rare steak and soft cheese etc.

notasgreenasiamcabbagelooking Wed 29-Jun-11 10:17:22

You're not supposed to I don't think. I usually ask if the meat's been frozen as my midwife told me that kills the taxoplasmosis parasite and then it's safe to eat. I've found a surprising amount of places do always freeze meat first to kill off any nasties. I am a big fan of sushi so this is very helpful.

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Wed 29-Jun-11 10:17:48

MmeLindor - thansk for your quick reply smile

If it falls into the same category as the cheeses etc then I won't risk it smile I didn't know it was to do with the listeria, so thanks for that info smile

Daisybell1 Wed 29-Jun-11 10:23:40

The NHS book says its ok to do so, so long as the outside is well seared, so I have had occasionally, but have dialled it down to medium, rather than medium rare.

At times, its been either that or pate!!!

kri5ty Wed 29-Jun-11 10:27:40

If you go to a good place, and they sear it first then its ok.. as mentioned it says that in the NHS book

i tend to have it medium now just to make sure

silverangel Wed 29-Jun-11 10:29:41

Officialy not supposed to I don't think. I've still been having steak medium rare but only if I trusted the source...

MmeLindor. Wed 29-Jun-11 10:30:19

Daisybell
The NHS website says, "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."

It is annoying enough that there is different advice available, without the NHS giving out two different versions!

MmeLindor. Wed 29-Jun-11 10:31:59

oops, sorry. Just noticed that it is Toxoplasmosis that is the danger in meat, not Listeria.

Daisybell1 Wed 29-Jun-11 10:47:20

Mme Lindor - I think the book also says that, but then it carries on to say its ok to eat beef or lamb pink if the outside is seared. It is confusing, I agree with you.

MmeLindor. Wed 29-Jun-11 10:54:57

That is strange, Daisy. How is the bacteria in the meat being killed off if the inside of the meat is still raw?

silverangel Wed 29-Jun-11 11:31:32

Its the heat of the grill / pan when searing that kills of the bacteria. If you eat it under done then the middle doesnt have a chance to heat up enough to kill the bacteria. IMO though, if you are eating say, a steak, the bacteria is going to be on the outside and not the inside anway. If you were to eat say, a minced steak burger, the bacteria on the outside could be transferred to the inside during the mincing process so more likley to be a problem.

MmeLindor. Wed 29-Jun-11 11:33:44

That is interesting, Silver. Thanks for clearing up the confusion.

Tbh, I would then consider eating rare steak at home, when I was preparing it myself. I don't think I would risk it in a restaurant.

spilttheteaagain Wed 29-Jun-11 11:46:46

I wouldn't, but I am being super cautious this time after my first baby died at 20 weeks when I caught toxoplasmosis. No idea where I caught it from, but the most common source of infection is raw/rare meat, other sources are inadequately washed garden veg if the soil may have been contaminated with infected cat poo, or actual direct contact with infected cat poo.

Contrary to all the reassuring I was given at the start of that pregnancy, no, most people are not immune. Only 30% of the UK population is. I had had cats for 17 years by that point and not yet caught toxo so it was staggeringly bad luck to catch it when pregnant and lose my daughter. I'm taking no food risks this time at all. No food is worth losing or risking losing another child over. I am worried enough as it is.

ThePetiteMummy Wed 29-Jun-11 11:48:51

My obstetrician advised me not to eat rare steak when pregnant.

MmeLindor. Wed 29-Jun-11 11:52:45

Spilttheteaagain
So sorry for your loss. It really brings it into perspective, doesn't it?

As I said earlier, the risk for me was too high just for the pleasure of eating a steak. I avoided all soft cheese, pate, raw ham etc while pregnant.

pantspantspants Wed 29-Jun-11 11:54:47

I wouldn't risk it personally if you don't know your immune but, in my first pregnancy I was told you could eat rare steak IF it is frozen first, defrosted and then cooked. As the toxoplasmosis can be killed by the heat of cooking OR by the freezing temperatures. I know I am immune but still got the restaurants to freeze first.

spilttheteaagain Wed 29-Jun-11 13:36:22

Thanks Mme
I always worry about posting on these threads because my experience was so unusual and extreme, but I'd hate someone else to go through what I am because they didn't realise what could happen.

Good luck deciding OP and I hope you have a lovely meal out.

ALovelyBunchOfCoconuts Wed 29-Jun-11 14:57:18

Thanks everyone,

Spilttheteaagain, I'm so sorry for your loss of your baby. I'm glad you posted. Eventhough it is uncommon it is obviously still a risk. Thanks for sharing your experience sad

I opted for medium. Was cooked throughout (I double and triple checked each mouthful) and was lovely.

Only downside was that it was served on one of those sizzle plate things and I burnt my finger. Ouchy.

And now I have heartburn grin

spilttheteaagain Wed 29-Jun-11 15:51:32

No problem. Glad you had a nice time but a shame about the heartburn!

I have made DH promise that shortly after this baby is out he is buying and cooking me a fillet steak nice and rare. And also (separate meal) we will be having chip shop chips with runny eggs to dunk the chips in. And wine. It will be amazing grin

scepticalexpat Wed 29-Jun-11 16:07:17

From what I understand, toxoplasmosis has never been found in beef. You find it in lamb, pork and game meats and the meat needs to be cooked right through to avoid the risk. But then this study says some women seemed to have been infected after eating beef, which the author finds inexplicable and puts down to the beef being adulterated with cheaper meats: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1118145/

Stangirl Wed 29-Jun-11 16:16:34

I read up on all the problems with various foods - found out what the problems were and the likelihood of getting something and decided that almost all food warnings were a load of bollox (with the exception of Vit A in liver products). I have eaten rare steak through both my pregnancies to my heart's content. There's a really good article by Zoe Williams for the Guardian that sets it all out.

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