Can Pregnant Women Eat Pork Rinds? Is It Safe?

Pork Rind mother pushes around a pork rind baby with a binkie in a stroller

September 07, 2022 3 min read

Along with restrictions on their physical activities and daily routines, pregnant women also need to be more careful about what they eat. Among the whole list of things to avoid eating while pregnant, pork products are one of them.

But contrary to popular belief, pork is not forbidden for pregnant women to eat. Only raw or undercooked meat and poultry should be avoided because they may contain harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning among pregnant women.

That said, well-cooked pork products, such as pork rinds, are safe to eat during pregnancy. Pork rinds are cooked in high temperatures of 350-375 degrees Fahrenheit, which is hot enough to kill any harmful bacteria.

Bags of salt and pepper pork rinds prepared by a commercial manufacturer also have low moisture content, which makes them safe from bacteria and microorganisms that could make you sick.

Craving Pork Rinds During Pregnancy

Most pregnant women often crave either excessively sweet or excessively salty food during their pregnancy. The most common cravings you’ll hear include ice cream, chocolate bars, and peanut butter, as well as junk food and potato chips. 

But all of these snacks can do little for their nutritional needs. Potato chips, especially, are very high in carbohydrates and calories and don’t contain any vitamins and nutrients that could benefit someone during pregnancy. 

As an alternative, many pregnant women may opt for pork rinds. Their porky taste and airy and crunchy texture can satiate any pregnancy craving. And unlike potato chips, pork rinds are healthier, being low in carbohydrates, low calories, and high in protein, healthy fats, and B vitamins. 

Other Pork Dishes and Products During Pregnancy

Pork products and dishes come in many different forms. And you may be wondering how each one of them affects your pregnancy. Here are some common pork dishes and quick answers to whether or not you can eat them while pregnant. 

  • Bacon: Generally, bacon is safe to consume during pregnancy, as long as it is cooked thoroughly at piping hot temperatures. 
  • Hotdogs/ sausages: Hotdogs and sausage are safe for pregnant women to eat, as long as they are cooked at the standard temperature of 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Smoked/ BBQ pork: Pregnant women can eat BBQ and smoked pork while pregnant, as long as they are cooked thoroughly even at low temperatures but for longer periods of time. 
  • Charcuterie pork: Charcuterie pork or cold cuts are often eaten cold, which risks the presence of harmful bacteria. Women can only eat cold cuts after heating them until they are hot. 
  • Pork liver: Pork liver should be avoided during pregnancy because of its excessively high vitamin A content, which can be toxic and cause birth defects. 
  • Pork dumplings: Pregnant women can eat pork dumplings as long as the meat stuffed inside the wrapper is cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  • Pork pies: Pork pies can only be eaten when they are steaming hot, or right after they have been cooked to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Eating pork pies served at room temperature risks bacterial infection. 
  • Reheated pork: In the case of leftover pork products that come from the refrigerator, pregnant women can still eat them if they are heated to 165 degrees Fahrenheit before consumption. 

Conclusion: Are Pork Skins Safe During Pregnancy?

Pork rinds, which are cooked at much higher temperatures compared to other pork products, are completely safe for pregnant women to consume. These guilt-free snacks don’t pose the risk of food poisoning and are a good source of healthy fats, protein, and B vitamins. 

Women should be very wary about what they consume during pregnancy. Whether pork products or not, it’s always a good idea to do your homework. Always check the labels before you eat something, taking note of expiration dates, nutritional facts, and the best storage practices.