Eggs impart several key nutrients in the form of protein,
fats, minerals (such as zinc and selenium) and vitamins
A, D and some B vitamins, which make it a necessary
food item during pregnancy. Eggs during pregnancy
is undoubtedly one of the most nutritious foods and
is healthy for the pregnant woman but safety should
not be overlooked.
Steps to ensure Egg Safety
• Salmonella bacterium can grow inside fresh
unbroken eggs. Most eggs are contaminated before the
shells form so washing alone (the exterior) will not
guarantee safety. Eggs come washed anyway.
• Always use eggs before the sell-by-date marked
on the carton. Eggs stay fresh for about 3-5 weeks
in the refrigerator i.e. if you have not crossed the
expiry date. Store eggs properly in the fridge, ideally
not in the egg shelf on the fridge door since there
is too much temperature fluctuation. It is best to
store them in the original carton you bought them
• Eggs are porous, another reason why they should
be stored in egg cartons so that other odors do not
penetrate the eggs.
• A health egg when cracked will have no foul
smell, the egg white is gel- like, opaque and not
watery, and a healthy egg yolk is firm and not runny.
• Do not leave cooked eggs, even hard boiled
ones, at room temperature for longer than 2 hours.
It is best to eat them immediately after cooking.
Hard boiled eggs (unpeeled) can be stored in the fridge
for up to one week.
• Don't use eggs that are cracked even if it
cracks on your way home. Bacteria enter easily and
• Thorough cooking destroys salmonella i.e.
eggs should be cooked until both the yellow and whites
are firm and not runny.
• Avoid using recipes in which eggs remain raw
or are only partially cooked. For instance do not
use raw eggs in salad dressings, sauces or whipped
up desserts such as mousse.
• Avoid homemade foods that contain raw or partially
cooked eggs like mayonnaise, cake batter, eggnog etc.
The commercial versions e.g. bought mayonnaise are
safer in comparison because of the pasteurized eggs
used (check the label to confirm). If you need to
make something that requires raw eggs use pasteurized
egg products available in supermarkets in place of
raw eggs. Pasteurization is a process which heats
the eggs and kills the bacteria
• Free range, organic, omega 3 enriched eggs
are the best choice if your budget allows you. They
are a safer bet since the eggs come from animals that
are not treated with growth hormones or antibiotics.
• Egg safety, not with regards to cholesterol
but because of the bacteria salmonella, is a major
concern. Salmonella is one of the most common causes
of food poisoning that is passed on through contaminated
eggs and poultry. This applies to all egg types, be
it duck, quail, or chicken. It is best to avoid salmonella
to maintain good health and any form of stress to
your unborn baby.
• Salmonella rarely causes damage to fetus as
it the bacterium does not usually cross the placenta
but it is a very unpleasant experience for the mother.
• Salmonella symptoms in the mother include
vomiting, diarrhea, high fevers and dehydration. If
you have salmonella drink lots of liquids to replace