Can You Eat Eggs Benedict While Pregnant? [Vegan Alternatives]

Congratulations.  If you are reading this, likely you are pregnant or are involved in someone’s life who is pregnant.  This can be an exciting and terrifying time.  If you are a first time mother, then there are likely many questions filling your mind as we speak. 

What can I eat during pregnancy?  Can I eat fish?  Can I eat Eggs Benedict?  How will I know if my baby is receiving all the nutrition and nutrients that are needed for appropriate growth and development? 

Pregnancy is a huge physiologic change that creates an extraordinary demand on your body.  Therefore, it is imperative that you understand the changes that are occurring within your body and how to make sure that you are doing everything in your ability to make healthy choices for yourself and your baby.

Pregnancy can be quite overwhelming, especially if this is your first pregnancy.  Nutrition is very important during pregnancy, and trying to determine which foods are safe to eat during pregnancy can be difficult. 

Eggs Benedict are a delicious brunch food that many pregnant women wonder if they are safe to consume during pregnancy.  We are going to address that very topic in this article.  So, keep reading to find out more about Eggs Benedict. 

It is advised to avoid Eggs Benedict while pregnant for several reasons.  While pregnant you do not want to consume poached eggs. 

Poached eggs are undercooked and have the high risk of transmitting food-borne bacteria which may result is gastrointestinal illness.  Since, Eggs Benedict contains poached eggs as its main portion of the dish, it must be avoided during pregnancy. 

Another reason to avoid Eggs Benedict while pregnant is the fact that the creamy homemade hollandaise sauce may contain raw eggs. 

Some recipes call for the eggs to be slowly cooked in the sauce; however, many recipes especially in the Country of its origin, still recommends utilizing raw eggs as part of the major ingredient in the hollandaise sauce.  Of course, raw eggs are completely advised against while pregnant.

Raw eggs have the capability of transmitting Salmonella which may result in severe gastrointestinal illness in the pregnant mother.  The result of this illness can be dehydration which is the number one cause of premature contractions and premature labor.

Eggs also have the potential to transmit Listeria, another bacteria that can have devastating effects.  It is not worth it, so it is advised to refrain from consuming Eggs Benedict while pregnant.

Can You Eat Eggs Benedict With Hollandaise Sauce When Pregnant?

Eggs Benedict are a popular breakfast and brunch food that is amazingly delicious.  Eggs Benedict have multiple layers; and thus, while pregnant can be quite difficult to determine if they are safe to eat.  

Eggs Benedict contains controversial ingredients in both the dish and the sauce that raise concern for the pregnant woman.  The poached egg and the hollandaise sauce should be avoided during pregnancy. Can You Eat Eggs Benedict While Pregnant?

Can I Eat Eggs While Pregnant?

If one of your pregnancy cravings are eggs, do not worry:  there are some types of eggs that are safe to consume during pregnancy.  If you are craving eggs, there are just a couple of steps that must be done to ensure that you are consuming eggs which are safe for you and your baby. 

It has been well known that eggs have an increased risk of transmitting Salmonella bacteria.  Food safety is imperative to preventing the transmission of these food borne bacteria.  Make sure that you store the eggs in the refrigerator and wash your hands frequently after handling eggs. 

Remember to wash all surfaces and utensils that come into contact with undercooked and/or raw eggs.  Also, make sure that you use pasteurized eggs when a recipe causes for raw eggs that are to be cooked thoroughly in another recipe.  

Why Is Eggs Benedict Dangerous?

Salmonella

Salmonella is a bacteria that causes gastrointestinal infection, resulting in nausea, vomiting and diarrhea which may result in dehydration.  Dehydration is one of the leading causes to premature uterine contractions. 

This can be quite serious for the pregnant woman.  Therefore, it is essential that you avoid eating any eggs that are raw, undercooked or partially cooked.  It is also essential that you make sure that you are purchasing eggs that are pasteurized. 

If you are raising chickens and gathering the eggs that they lay, these eggs are not pasteurized and are at an increased risk of transmitting food borne bacteria such as Salmonella.  Pasteurization requires that the internal temperature of the egg reach a certain temperature to kill some of those bacteria that are naturally occurring within the egg.  

Eggs must be completely cooked entirely through so that the yolks and whites of the eggs are completely firm.  This will ensure that if there was any bacteria that survived after the eggs underwent pasteurization then it will be killed at that time. 

While you are pregnant, it is essential to avoid poached eggs, soft-boiled eggs, raw eggs, undercooked eggs, eggs over easy and eggs over medium.  

While these egg only dishes are easy to avoid while pregnant, some other dishes may have raw or undercooked eggs within them that may be more difficult to identify.  Therefore, please do research to determine what sauces and dishes contain raw and/or undercooked eggs prior to consumption. 

The health of your baby is the most important, and care should be taken when you are eating for two.  Many dressings that are made fresh contain undercooked and/or raw eggs including:  mayonnaise, Caesar salad dressing, béarnaise sauce and aioli sauce. 

The most relevant sauce to this discussion of if Eggs Benedict are safe to consume during pregnancy is hollandaise sauce.  Hollandaise sauce contains raw or undercooked eggs and is a very important part of the Eggs Benedict dish. 

Therefore, for more than one reason, while pregnant you should avoid Eggs Benedict.

Can You Eat Eggs Benedict While Pregnant?

Listeria Monocytogenes

Another food borne bacteria that can be transmitted via poultry, including via transmission of the poultry’s eggs is Listeria.  Listeria Monocytogenes is a food borne bacteria that can result in listeriosis. 

Listeriosis causes gastrointestinal infection, which results in nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.  The byproduct of vomiting and diarrhea is dehydration.  Dehydration can result in preterm labor which can be devastating in some instances. 

Listeria can actually present as long as two months from exposure.  While many pregnant women who have been exposed to this bacteria may remain asymptomatic, the infection can be devastating for the fetus.  Listeriosis has been associated with miscarriage, stillbirth and preterm labor. 

The listeriosis bacteria can cross over into the baby and result in infection of the babies blood and/or brain.  The effects of this infection can be devastating and may result in:  paralysis, seizures, blindness, intellectual disability and deficiencies within the brain, heart and kidneys. 

Listeriosis has also been associated with newborn death.  This bacteria can have severe, devastating effects so it is an easy choice to refrain from eating raw, undercooked eggs or any poultry that may have come into contact with this bacteria. 

Food safety can help to prevent this bacteria from being transmitted from mother to fetus.

Alternatives To Eggs Benedict For Pregnant Women

If you are craving Eggs Benedict there is a way that you can eat this delectable dish.  If you completely cook the eggs all the way through and remove the eggs from the hollandaise sauce recipe then it would be considered safe for you to eat while pregnant. 

Eggs Benedict are forbidden while pregnant because the poached egg is not cooked all the way through, and there are raw eggs in the hollandaise sauce.  By removing both of those portions of the original Eggs Benedict then you have created a dish that does not contain any forbidden ingredients during pregnancy.  

There are also other vegan alternatives to Eggs Benedict as well.  There are safe options during pregnancy, it just may take a little modification to the recipe. 

Can You Eat Eggs Benedict While Pregnant?

Vegan Alternatives To Eggs Benedict

Tofu Avocado Eggs Benedict Tempeh Benedict with Vegan Hollandaise Sauce
Vegan Eggs Benedict with Portabella Bacon Complete Eggs Benedict – Vegan

Final Verdict

After reviewing the literature and recommendations by the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology it can be stated with complete certainty that as pregnant women, you should stay away from Eggs Benedict. 

As a pregnant woman, please do not consume Eggs Benedict.  While it may be a great choice for the non-pregnant woman who is craving eggs, it contains poached eggs which are undercooked and may result in the transmission of food borne bacteria. 

Eggs Benedict also contains hollandaise sauce which may contain raw eggs.  These ingredients can result in devastating consequences to the fetus; and thus, if you are pregnant it is not safe to consume Eggs Benedict.

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