Is Venison Safe During Pregnancy?

Kimberly A. Tessmer's picture

QUESTION

Dear Nutritionist,
Is it safe to eat venison during pregnancy?

ANSWER

Provided that venison is handled and cooked properly it should be safe for women to eat during pregnancy. Proper handling means that it is refrigerated and thawed properly, that cross-contamination is avoided, that it is cooked properly and thoroughly and that proper hand washing is used. You must cook the meat very thoroughly to a safe temperature (which would be 165' F for meat from wild game animals), using a meat thermometer. Undercooked venison can cause toxoplasmosis, which can very dangerous to both the mother and baby.

Caution is urged if the venison is used for jerky or sausage, as some additional precautions are necessary to prepare venison safely in this manner.

-- Kimberly, RD LD