Can You Eat Egg Salad While Pregnant? Safety and Risks

Last Updated on May 1, 2023

Egg salad, or other similar cold deli salads that are often pre-prepared, are more likely than other foods to cause foodborne illnesses, such as listeria or Shigella. Therefore, you may be wondering if it is safe to eat it during your pregnancy.

Egg salad is safe for pregnant women when it is prepared freshly at home or commercially made. Avoid it, and all deli salads, that have been prepared onsite at a deli, grocery store, or restaurant because of the increased risk of dangerous bacteria. 

This article will provide more information about egg salad, how to safely make it yourself at home, whether sandwiches made with it are safe, and more! 

Is it Safe to Eat Egg Salad During Pregnancy? 

Egg salad is safe to eat while you are pregnant as long as it has been prepared freshly at home (source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration [FDA]).

Egg salad that has been made in a deli or a restaurant does not contain preservatives, which puts them at an increased risk of causing foodborne illness. Foodborne illness is especially dangerous for pregnant women. 

Egg salad in a bowl with bread slices and lettuce

Store-made salads have the risk of carrying listeria monocytogenes, Shigella, and other pathogens, which can cause serious complications in your pregnancy (source: United States Department of Agriculture [USDA]).

However, commercially made and manufactured premade egg salad found in the grocery store is safe during pregnancy and can be stored in the fridge for three to five days (source: FDA).

Since the eggs in it are fully cooked, it is not necessary to use pasteurized eggs when making your own egg salad recipe. However, when purchasing a carton of eggs from the store, it is best to select pasteurized eggs, which are safer during your pregnancy.

When preparing the eggs at home for it, make sure you hard boil the eggs completely. 

Take precautions to avoid cross-contamination when preparing it at home. First, avoid contact between the egg salad and undercooked or raw meat, eggs, or poultry.

This step is important because it does not get cooked after preparation; therefore, the bacteria from undercooked meats and eggs can cause a foodborne illness if you consume them. 

Are Egg Salad Sandwiches OK When Pregnant? 

Egg salad sandwiches are okay for your pregnancy nutrition as long as you make the egg salad yourself or opt for one that has been commercially made. 

Egg salad sandwich with tomato slices on a plate

In other words, avoid these sandwiches that are prepared onsite from a deli, grocery store, or restaurant establishment. The safest option is to stick with traditional egg salad sandwiches you make at home and eat it right away.

Do not let the egg salad sit outside of the refrigerator for more than two hours, or else harmful bacteria can grow (source: USDA). If you add lettuce or tomatoes to your salad – or any other fresh produce – be sure to wash it thoroughly first.

Eggs are an excellent source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and more. They are nutrient-dense foods that leave you feeling full and satisfied after eating. Therefore, this sandwich is a healthy meal idea for you during pregnancy as long as it is prepared safely.

Make your egg salad sandwich with whole grain bread to add dietary fiber to your meal, which will help you feel full all day long. 

I hope this article provided some helpful tips for enjoying egg salad safely during your pregnancy! 

This article has been reviewed and approved for publication in line with our editorial policy.

Amy Kaczor, MS, RD

Amy Kaczor is a Registered Dietitian and full-time freelance writer based out of Chicago, Illinois. She is passionate about nutrition, health, and wellness, plus writing and sharing evidence-based information. Read more about our team here

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