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craving for rare steak

(20 Posts)
jusdepamplemousse Sat 01-Aug-15 11:46:24

What's the risk? I have a serious serious craving for a rare steak (maybe need iron?! maybe just greedy ) and there's just no point if it's been destroyed well done. grin

Is there actually a risk in eating this in pregnancy that doesn't exist not in pregnancy? I thought the logic was as long as the outside was thoroughly cooked the bacteria would be dealt with. Why is that not the case if the person consuming it is pregnant?!

I know it's hardly a hardship to not eat steak for a while but I just really really want one and don't understand why I can't have one? Grateful if someone can explain why it's either actually ok or actually not ok...?

soloula Sat 01-Aug-15 11:58:49

My understanding is like you say - rare steak is ok as long as it is well fired on the outside to kill off any dangerous bacteria. I think the guidelines are just extra cautious. It's things like mince you need to be careful of as its ground together so the outsides are on the inside iykwim lol. So if you get a burger it needs to be cooked through. You've put me in the mood for a steak now too!

BollinSausage Sat 01-Aug-15 12:02:54

I think the main reason they tell you to avoid it is toxoplasmosis, because while symptoms are generally mild or non existent it can have severe effects on the baby. However, lots of women eat rare steak in pg and the Nhs guidance to avoid rare steak only came in a few years ago I think. I accidentally had one at 7 weeks and did feel quite guilty... but got over it!

mummyneedinganswers Sat 01-Aug-15 12:17:44

I've had two rare steaks in pregnancy and I'm fine

jusdepamplemousse Sat 01-Aug-15 12:49:22

Yes I read that toxoplasmosis is the big risk - is it some kind of bug that can live on the 'inside' of the meat though...maybe because, er, the cow eats the dirt or something? (Science not my strong point) grin

HazleNutt Sat 01-Aug-15 12:52:12

the risk is toxo and just searing is not enough to kill it, the parasite lives inside the meat. Yes toxo is dangerous in pregnancy but not otherwise.
You can get tested if you're already immune though - if you are, you can eat all the rare steak you want.

mummyneedinganswers Sat 01-Aug-15 12:52:27

Toxoplasmosis is a parasite and quite dangerous to be infected with x

BollinSausage Sat 01-Aug-15 12:54:58

Yeah, it's a parasite which apparently around 30% of the population have already had, so have immunity to (in which case you can't get it again). I think it comes from contaminated undercooked meat, contaminated soil on fruit and veggies, and cat poo if the cat has had it recently. The Tommy's baby charity have lots of info on it on their website if you wanted to know more... I think I read that it only affects 3 in 100,000 births though, so pretty uncommon!

jusdepamplemousse Sat 01-Aug-15 12:58:21

Ah ok so I was sort of right. I grew up rurally working with animals so probably do have a fair chance of having immunity if anyone does...I wonder how one goes about getting tested, privately I suppose? Sort of a waste of nhs resources just to satisfy a steak craving...! Is it a blood test?

Hughpughbarneymagrew Sat 01-Aug-15 12:59:28

If you are cooking it at home, freezing the meat at least -4 degrees for at least 2 days) before cooking will greatly reduce the risk (although totally eliminate it, as I understand it).

I have to admit, I've not been very careful about toxoplasmosis. It's only an issue if you get it for the first time during pregnancy. If you've had it more than 6 months before getting pregnant then you will be immune to it and the baby will share your immunity. Given that I've had 35 odd years of eating unwashed fruit and veg and rare/undercooked/air dried meats, I can't see how I could not be immune to it by now!

HazleNutt Sat 01-Aug-15 12:59:30

yes simple blood test - I'm in France where they test all pregnant and not immune women every month.

CloserToFiftyThanTwenty Sat 01-Aug-15 13:03:35

I was told that cravings are often your body's way of letting you know that you have a deficiency in something... Are your iron levels low, maybe? A supplement would be safe (but far less tasty!)

jusdepamplemousse Sat 01-Aug-15 13:17:07

Yes closer - a supplement and a load of spinach sadgrin

roseformyrose Sat 01-Aug-15 19:19:11

Depending on where you live your midwife might test you for toxo. I'm being tested with every set of blood tests because I'm at quite a high risk for it.

I'm afraid that despite having two cats, eating unwashed veg and doing plenty of gardening I'm still not immune, so it's probably wise to be careful unless you know for sure you've already had it.

Topsy34 Sat 01-Aug-15 19:37:49

I love rare steak, but while I'm oregnant im going with medium steak.

where i work, we deal closely with local cattle and lamb farmers, and i asked the cattle farmer how common toxoplasmosis is, and he said its actually quite rare in cattle.

My understanding is that if its frozen or cooked to above 67 degrees, toxoplasmosis is killed off....might be wrong, i need to check now!

pandypoos Sat 01-Aug-15 19:57:02

I've been the same and I've eaten it medium, my hubby works for a posh butcher so he's been getting steak from work, there's so much tracking info I could tell you the name of the cow it came from, not sure it makes a difference but it made me feel better knowing where it came from and that bit was as fresh as possible, I wouldn't have eaten it in a restaurant because it could have been knocking about for a while. I always think our mums and nans wernt told all this stuff to avoid and I think most of it is unnecessary as long as you eat fresh healthily food you should be ok. Also a lot of food studies the guidelines are based on were done in other countries where the food standards are much lower.

Topsy34 Sat 01-Aug-15 20:07:24

Couldnt agree more pandypoos.

Knowing where food comes from is very reasurring, and the traceability is actually very interesting, i had no idea til i started work where i am now

Notnowdarling01 Sat 01-Aug-15 20:56:03

I had toxo is my pregnancy with dd. I can't be entirely sure where I picked it up but I think it was from a posh restaurant meal I had shortly before. I would now always recommend people to err on the side of caution because the wait to find out if there was any damage was horrendous. You worry the whole pregnancy and then many of the problems can't be definitively picked up until long after birth. Dd thankfully only suffered hearing problems but it is just a horrible thing to go through. I would ask your midwife for the test before having the steak, I know you definitely can get them privately if your midwife won't offer it. Sorry to be the dull one on the thread, the risks are rare but I wouldn't want my worst enemy to go through what we did.

jusdepamplemousse Sat 01-Aug-15 21:18:50

Hey notnow - thanks for your post (thanks everyone else too!) and sharing your experience. I hope you and your DD are good and well now.

You're absolutely right and I'll take no unnecessary risks - will ask midwife about the test next appointment.

I had a large pizza for dinner instead. grin stays far far away from scales

scatterbrainedlass Mon 03-Aug-15 09:30:31

jusde, I think it's all pretty much been covered, but to add my twopenceworth.... I've grown up around cats, have lambed and worked with sheep in my teens during the summers, and have spent the last 5 years working on a sheep farm, lambing 500-odd sheep a year. I fell pregnant during lambing season, and continued to work, so asked my MW to run a toxoplasmosis screen with the other bloods. I assumed I would be immune, but I wasn't. It is very rare, but the reason people go on about it so much is that it can be fatal to unborn babies if the mother catches it during pregnancy.

As far as the steak goes, I have seen several different sources state that as long as the outside is fully cooked and therefore sealed, it is safe to eat. I have eaten medium-rare steak and suffered no ill-effects. However, as notnow has said, there are risks and it is better to be safe than sorry.

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