Can You Eat Deer Sausage While Pregnant? Everything You Need To Know

Pregnancy brings with it a lot of changes, especially when it comes to diet and nutrition As an expectant mom, you want to make sure that everything you eat is safe for your baby’s development One of the common questions that comes up is whether you can eat deer sausage while pregnant.

As someone who just found out they have a bun in the oven, I had the same question myself. I love venison and grew up eating deer sausage during hunting season. I wanted to know if I could continue this family tradition while pregnant or if I needed to forego it until after the baby comes.

After doing thorough research and talking to my doctor I have all the details to share with you on eating deer sausage during pregnancy. Keep reading to find out if this savory and protein-packed food is safe for you and your growing little one!

Can You Consume Deer Sausage When Pregnant?

The short answer is yes, you can eat deer sausage while pregnant as long as it’s properly handled and thoroughly cooked. Venison is an incredibly lean meat, meaning it doesn’t have much fat content. This makes it less likely to harbor dangerous bacteria compared to fattier meats like beef or pork.

As long as you cook your deer sausage to an internal temperature of 160°F, you should be able to consume it safely during pregnancy. This high temperature kills any potentially harmful bacteria that could be present.

With that said, it’s still vitally important to take precautions when handling, prepping, cooking, and storing deer meat to avoid risks from contamination. We’ll go over all the safety tips in more detail shortly.

Nutritional Benefits of Deer Sausage During Pregnancy

Assuming it’s properly prepared, deer sausage offers some excellent nutritional perks for pregnant women. Here are some of the main benefits:

  • High-Quality Protein: Deer meat is very lean and an amazing source of protein. Each serving provides amino acids for building your baby’s tissues and organs.

  • Iron: Deer sausage delivers more iron than other red meats. This mineral is crucial for preventing anemia and oxygenating you and your baby’s blood.

  • B Vitamins: Deer contains B12 and other B vitamins required for energy production and nervous system health.

  • Zinc: This mineral supports immune function, cell growth, and development of organs like your baby’s brain.

  • Other Minerals: Venison provides magnesium, selenium, and phosphorous for bone health and enzymatic processes.

As you can see, enjoying deer sausage in moderation can be a tasty way to meet many of your increased nutrient needs during pregnancy. Just be mindful of your overall fat, sodium, and nitrate intake from processed varieties.

Is Deer Sausage Safe When Pregnant? Tips for Safe Consumption

While deer meat offers benefits, it also requires caution. Here are some tips for safely eating deer sausage while pregnant:

Cook Thoroughly to Proper Temperature

  • Cook deer sausage to an internal temperature of 160°F. Use a food thermometer to verify doneness.

  • Heating to this high temperature kills bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella, and Listeria.

Avoid Undercooked or Raw Deer

  • Never sample deer sausage before it finishes cooking all the way through.

  • Do not consume raw or rare venison due to infection risks.

Prevent Cross-Contamination

  • Store raw deer separately from other foods in sealed containers.

  • Use separate cutting boards and utensils for raw deer vs. ready-to-eat foods.

  • Wash hands, counters, and tools thoroughly after working with raw meat.

Purchase from Reputable Sources

  • Buy commercially-made and packaged sausages from trusted retailers.

  • For hunted deer, ensure proper field dressing, processing, and storage.

  • When in doubt, don’t eat high-risk foods like ground meat or sausage.

Refrigerate Promptly and Properly

  • Refrigerate deer sausage within 2 hours of cooking. Do not leave at room temperature.

  • Store in the fridge for no more than 3-4 days total.

  • Freeze for longer storage and use within 2-3 months for best quality.

Following safe meat handling procedures is key to minimizing the risks of foodborne illness from deer sausage when pregnant.

Risks of Eating Undercooked Deer While Pregnant

Now that you know properly cooked deer sausage is fine during pregnancy, you may be wondering why undercooked venison is so dangerous. Here are some of the main risks:

Bacterial Infections

Raw or undercooked deer may contain harmful bacteria like E. coli, Salmonella, Listeria, and Campylobacter. Consuming contaminated meat can lead to food poisoning with symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and fever.

In pregnancy, these bacterial infections pose risks like dehydration, preterm labor, and stillbirth. Listeria is especially concerning as it can cross the placenta and infect the baby.

Parasitic Infections

Deer meat may harbor microscopic parasites like Toxoplasma gondii. If contracted during pregnancy, this infection causes a condition called toxoplasmosis which can lead to birth defects, miscarriage, or stillbirth.

Prion Diseases

Extremely rare prion diseases like Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) have been detected in some deer populations. While the risks to humans are unclear, the CDC recommends not eating CWD-positive deer meat as a precaution.

As you can see, properly handling and cooking deer meat is crucial during pregnancy. Always cook sausage, burgers, and steaks to a safe internal temperature and avoid undercooked venison.

Healthy Alternatives to Deer Sausage in Pregnancy

If you don’t have access to safe, properly cooked deer sausage or simply want to limit consumption, some healthy alternatives include:

  • Turkey sausage or chicken sausage

  • Lean ground beef or pork sausage

  • Soy-based or seitan sausage (for vegetarian options)

  • Canned fish like salmon, sardines, or tuna

  • Eggs, lentils, beans for plant-based protein

  • Tofu, tempeh, edamame

  • Nuts, seeds, nut butters

Focus on getting adequate protein from a variety of whole food sources. This offers the best nutritional support for you and baby!

Frequently Asked Questions About Deer Sausage in Pregnancy

If you’re still unsure about eating deer sausage while pregnant, here are answers to some common questions:

Can I eat deer summer sausage while pregnant?

You can eat summer sausage made from deer meat during pregnancy as long as it’s been cooked to 160°F before packaging. Avoid raw dry-cured sausages.

What about smoked deer sausage when pregnant?

Smoked sausage is fine to consume if it has been pre-cooked to a safe temperature. Always reheat smoked sausage to 165°F before eating.

Is it okay to eat deer jerky while pregnant?
No, deer jerky is unsafe to eat during pregnancy because the dehydration process doesn’t kill bacteria. Avoid all raw meat jerky.

Can I eat deer sausage while breastfeeding?
Yes, it is safe to eat properly handled and thoroughly cooked deer sausage while breastfeeding your baby. Follow all the same safety precautions.

Will deer sausage hurt my baby?
No, deer sausage will not directly harm your baby as long as you cook it properly to destroy any potentially dangerous bacteria. Avoid risks by following safe handling procedures.

Should I ask my doctor before eating deer meat?
It’s always wise to check with your prenatal healthcare provider about eating more uncommon or risky foods during pregnancy. They can offer personalized advice.

The main takeaway is that you can safely enjoy deer sausage and venison while pregnant as long as you take precautions to reduce infection risks. Cook it thoroughly, store it properly, and choose quality sources for the healthiest results.

The Bottom Line on Deer Sausage During Pregnancy

Pregnancy nutrition can be confusing with so many mixed messages about what foods are safe or not. When it comes to deer sausage, the answer lies in proper handling and cooking.

Thoroughly cooking deer meat to an internal temperature of 160°F kills any dangerous bacteria that could be present. This makes it less likely to cause foodborne illnesses compared to other raw meats.

Assuming you take all the necessary safety precautions, you can continue to indulge in delicious deer sausage while pregnant. In moderation and as part of a balanced diet, deer sausage offers nutritional benefits like protein, iron, and zinc for you and your growing baby.

However, if you have any concerns about foodborne illnesses or don’t have access to properly prepared venison, there are plenty of healthy alternative protein sources to choose from. Your prenatal healthcare provider can also offer guidance on diet and nutrition during your pregnancy.

Above all, remember to listen to your body. If a food makes you feel unwell, avoid it even if it may be considered safe. Stay hydrated, get plenty of rest, and consume a variety of nutritious whole

Can you eat deer meat while pregnant? Here’s the answer

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