Can You Eat Black Pudding While Pregnant? Is It Safe?

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Written by Gina Wagg BA, Dip.

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Regardless if you’re a fan of black pudding, it’s often an uncommon food choice because of one unique ingredient – blood. But, is it safe to eat during pregnancy when those cravings strike?

Black pudding is safe to eat while pregnant as long as it is thoroughly cooked. This type of pudding combines pork fat and blood, which can harbor harmful bacteria. However, the cooking process will kill any bacteria present.

What about white pudding? Are there health benefits to eating black pudding during pregnancy? In this article, we’ll explore the safety recommendations for black pudding and provide some tips for adding it to your balanced diet while pregnant.

Can Pregnant Women Eat Black Pudding?

Black pudding is a type of sausage that combines pork fat and blood. It is popular in many parts of the world, including the United Kingdom, Ireland, and New Zealand. You’ll often see it as part of an English breakfast. It’s also called blood sausage or boudin noir in some parts of the world. For the purposes of pregnancy safety, you can treat them all the same way.

Some people may avoid eating it due to concern about its ingredients. However, when cooked thoroughly, black pudding, or blood sausage, is safe to eat during pregnancy.

Processed meat products like black pudding must be cooked to an internal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit to kill any harmful bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes that may be present (source: American Pregnancy Association).

Listeria infection, also known as listeriosis, is a rare but severe illness that can be dangerous for pregnant women and their unborn babies.

Symptoms of listeriosis include fever, muscle aches, and gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea. If you are pregnant and experience any of these symptoms, it is crucial to seek medical attention immediately (source: CDC).

grilling black pudding on a barbecue grill

Aside from cooking it well, you can also reduce your risk of food poisoning by avoiding black pudding that has been sitting out at room temperature for too long.

Bacteria can multiply on meat that has not been properly refrigerated. Like other processed meat products, the black pudding should be stored below 40 degrees Fahrenheit in the fridge (source: American Meat Science Association).

To be safe, only purchase black pudding that has been refrigerated and consume it within a few days. If you are unsure about the quality of it, it is best to avoid it completely.

Black pudding is also served as a breakfast dish with eggs, bacon, and toast (“English breakfast”). If you are making it at home, cook it thoroughly before adding it to the other ingredients. If you are purchasing from a restaurant, check with your waiter to ensure it has been cooked properly and consume it hot.

If you’re eating it at a buffet (for example, in a hotel breakfast bar) then ask for it to be heated until hot, and this should make it safe for you to eat when pregnant.

Is Black Pudding Beneficial for Pregnant Women?

Black pudding is made from pork fat and blood, both excellent iron sources (source: British Charcuterie).

Iron is an essential nutrient for pregnant women as it helps to prevent iron deficiency anemia. Iron is necessary for pregnant women because it helps to carry oxygen to the fetus and placenta. It also helps the baby’s brain and nervous system develop correctly (source: Nutrition During Pregnancy Journal).

Pregnant women need 30 milligrams of iron daily (source: BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth Journal) and 100 grams of black pudding contains 10.9mg of iron (source: Check Your Food).

Aside from iron, it is also an excellent source of protein. Protein is vital for pregnant women because it helps build and repair tissues. It is also necessary for the growth and development of the fetus.

While pregnant, you’ll need about 75-100 grams of protein per day (source: American Pregnancy Association). A hundred grams of black pudding has 9 grams of protein (source: Check Your Food).

Even if it is safe to consume and nutritious for pregnant women, you should still eat it in moderation as it is high in calories.

It is recommended for a pregnant woman to consume up to 1800-2400 calories per day (source: Medline Plus). A hundred grams of black pudding has 277 calories (source: Check Your Food).

High calorie and fat intake can lead to unhealthy weight gain, which can harm both the mother and the baby. Excess weight gain during pregnancy can increase the risk of gestational diabetes, high blood pressure, and complications during delivery (source: Healthline).

Black Pudding with apple slice potato pancake and sauerkraut.

Can I Eat White Pudding When Pregnant?

White pudding is similar to black pudding but does not contain animal blood. It is made with pork fat, oatmeal, and various spices.

Like black pudding, white pudding is safe to eat during pregnancy as long as it is thoroughly cooked and stored correctly. It is also a rich source of iron and protein – but because it doesn’t contain animal blood, it’s lower in iron.

However, pregnant women should still only consume white pudding in moderation due to its high fat and calorie content.

We hope this article has helped clear any misconceptions about black pudding and pregnancy. If you have further questions, please contact your doctor or healthcare provider.