Is it safe to eat mayonnaise when pregnant?

Can homemade or shop-bought mayonnaise harm me or my baby during pregnancy?

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In a nutshell

It’s safe to eat mayonnaise made from pasteurised eggs, but you need to take care if you eat mayonnaise made with raw eggs. However, a new report (Jan 2016) states that raw eggs are safe if they are British Lion marked hens’ eggs.

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The expert view

You do need to take care with mayonnaise, and it’s important to know how the product that is in your sandwich or on your salad was prepared. If it was made with raw eggs, then you need to check that they are British Lion stamped.

“Freshly made Bearnaise, Hollandaise and tartare sauces can also contain raw egg, so be careful with these too,” warns nutritionist Dr Rana Conway. “You’re most likely to come across them in a farm shop or a fancy restaurant, particularly if you are abroad. So it is always worth asking if mayonnaise or other sauces are made with unpasteurised egg.” 

When you are buying mayonnaise to eat during pregnancy, choose the varieties that are in a jar in the non-refrigerated aisle of the supermarket, becase they would have been made with pasteurised (heat-treated) eggs. These include brands like  Hellmann’s and Heinz and stores own brands.

Be careful with mayonnaise and sauces that have been homemade, or that are sold as fresh from delis, restaurants or food markets. If you are in the least bit unsure  then it’s safest to avoid.  

Mums on our forum say

“Personally I think it is appalling that nearly all shop bought sarnies have mayo in – there are so many people around who either can’t have or don’t like mayo that you would think there would be a market for selling more without.” SazaJ

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