by jamonify

Diet, Ham and Pregnancy

Published : 12/3/2015 23:17:15
Categories : Iberico Acorn fed Ham, pure Pata Negra. Rss feed , News Rss feed

Diet, Ham and Pregnancy

Pregnancy and diet Can ham be included into the diet of pregnant women?


The most known food of Spanish gastronomy and a star of the Mediterranean diet the ham consumption during pregnancy and other raw or not entirely cooked meats can be allowed only o women who are immune to toxoplasmosis.


The prohibition of eating ham it is one of the worst things that pregnant women go through. If the woman has not suffered from toxoplasmosis it is recommended she avoids eating raw or not fully cooked meat in order to avoid contagion of the disease during pregnancy, new studies show that the risk eating ham is less than in other meats.


It is confirmed that the more time the ham is cured the less the risk of contracting the disease. The bigger the curing time, the salt content and other factors makes unfeasible the surviving of toxoplasmosis parasite as experts have confirmed.


The physicians believe with certain logic that a woman who has not contracted toxoplasmosis before her pregnancy it is almost impossible she contracts it during her pregnancy is she keeps following the same diet as she did before. All the packed products we normally buy at a supermarket produced by well-known brands have passed rigorous sanitary test and they should be free of this disease.


If it was previously frozen, you can eat it.

One of the best recommendations is to freeze your ham and eat after it has been frozen for a period of time, The reason for freezing the ham is that toxoplasmosis parasite dies if the food is frozen under 20 ºC for 2 days or after 10ºC for 3 days or more and before eating the ham the consumer should let it defrost very slowly.


ham pregnancy


Aging time and acorn Iberico ham. 

Aging or curing time is a weapon against the parasite toxoplasma Gondi as the more curing time the less raw the meat is and it is an extra layer of protection.


In 2011 the  magazine «Journal of Food Protection»  published a pioneering study on this field made nutrition and bromatology experts of Zaragoza University about the correlation between ham curing and the survival chances of the  toxoplasma gondii  parasite in this product. The study was carried on naturally infected pigs with toxoplasmosis. The hams were analysed twice, after 7months of curing and after 14 months which was the average aging time before selling the hams. There were no parasites found able to infect a human being. Conclusions showed that curing time made the parasite incapable to transmit the disease, so ham consumption carried a minimum risk to contract toxoplasmosis.


Other interesting results are offered by the Centro Tecnológico Andaluz del Sector Cárnico (Meat Technical Centre of Andalucía) with the support of the Innovation Office of Andalucía government that could end the prohibition to eat ham for pregnant women.



This study has showed on its first conclusions that: “acorn Iberico ham consumption is positive for pregnant women”, due to the fact its curing process eradicates all toxoplasmosis risks.


This office has signed an agreement with Spanish Obstetrics and Gynaecology association regarding the results obtained in the study of toxoplasmosis and the ham consumption by pregnant women to develop a protocol, this way explains Juan Carlos Racero managing director of Telca “all Spanish physicians will have a modern and scientific protocol to inform pregnant women about ham eating during pregnancy.”


All studies made regarding the presence of toxoplasmosis in cured hams share the common ground that  there is a lower percentage of infected cases and the parasite is ineffective to transmit the disease. In this context cured ham is a particularly bad environment for the parasite as curing process is really complex. All ham pieces will be covered entirely in salt for one or many days, a draining process at 0 ºC for 24 or 48 hours, a drying process that lasts some days at  3-5 ºC  and finally the curing process taking many months at 10 ºC y 20 ºC .


The average salt concentration within a ham piece is 5-8%, bigger concentrations around 8-9 % or even superior can be found though. This is very relevant as a recent study proves that the toxoplasma parasite loses its infective capacity with more than 2% salt concentration. This effect is bigger when nitrites are used for preservation. In ham   nitrites are very important as they preserve the ham and help to contain microorganisms and give the ham the red colour and aroma.


Curing time plays a very important role to reduce the infection risk. The more curing time means less risk for the consumer.  Even so we cannot affirm categorically that there is no chance of infection but the risk is negligible. Another Spanish study tested 50 different ham samples bought in different stores and they did not find the presence of toxoplasmosis in any serrano ham sample.


One of the main problems the experts see is the lack of information, if a pregnant woman enters into a Store to buy ham and curing time is not stated in labelling it may be a risk. Curing time should be stated in the ham labelling not only for pregnant women but as useful information for any consumer.


So as thumb rule buy the ham in a trusted store and from a well-known brand which has been correctly cured with salt at the most adequate temperatures and has been aged  for a long time, this way the ham will be totally free of the disease as the parasite becomes ineffective to transmit it and normally is completely death.


regalo mama bebe

ham pregnancy


The more months used for aging (normally periods longer than 24 months), it has been proved as much safer. So if a pregnant woman cannot resist to eating a good ham, go ahead! Just take the precaution the curing time of the ham should have been at least 24 months. Much better if she chooses acorn Iberico ham a world known delicacy.


Now scientific studies have developed Medical protocols that allow pregnant women to eat ham during pregnancy. We at Jamonify have released new exclusive ham products for pregnant women. So they can savour ham after 9 months and not an average ham but authentic acorn Iberico ham and an original and funny gift for your baby so he/she can enjoy as much you will enjoy your acorn Iberico ham.


That was the best gift one of our associates of the Jamonify team had and she is the source of this brilliant idea.

In 2010 her gynaecologist forbad her to eat ham during her pregnancy, after giving birth she ask her family and friends to forget about flowers and chocolates and she asked (and required) them to give her... Guess what?   The best ham which is acorn Iberico ham

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View all comments (2)


07/29/2015 23:14:43

Qué bueno! voy a por el bellota entonces....

Mari Rivero

02/4/2014 11:21:08

En resumen, que las embarazadas sí que pueden comer el jamón "bueno, bueno". Genial!

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