Eggs in pregnancy


Can you eat eggs when pregnant?

Yes – eggs are great for pregnant women. They are one of the most nutritious foods available and can make an important contribution to a healthy, balanced diet for pregnant women, helping them to achieve necessary intakes of vitamins and minerals.

Eggs are naturally rich in vitamin B2 (riboflavin), vitamin B12, vitamin D, selenium and iodine. They also contain vitamin A and a number of B vitamins including folate, biotin and pantothenic acid, as well as the nutrient choline, and other essential minerals and trace elements, including phosphorus. Folate is particularly important during pregnancy as it contributes to the division of cells and therefore to tissue growth. You can find more information on these nutrients here.

Read more: Can you eat eggs when pregnant?

Can you eat runny eggs when pregnant?

Yes - the Food Standards Agency reviewed its advice on egg safety in 2017 and has said that British Lion eggs can now be eaten runny or raw by pregnant women and other vulnerable groups.

Read more: Can you eat runny eggs when pregnant?

Can you eat boiled, poached or fried eggs when pregnant?

Yes - pregnant women can get all the nutritional benefits of eating eggs while enjoying a soft-cooked boiled, poached or fried egg, as long as it has the British Lion mark on. Many women go off strong-tasting foods in the early days of pregnancy and a simple runny boiled or poached egg with toast can help make sure that light, easily digested food is still nutritious. Conversely, some women develop cravings for strong flavours so eggs can help create a light but tasty meal such as spicy scrambles or omelettes.

Is salmonella from eggs a risk in pregnancy?

At the time of the salmonella and eggs scare in 1988, the Department of Health recommended that recipes for uncooked dishes involving raw eggs should be avoided, and that lightly cooked eggs should not be served to vulnerable groups – i.e. infants, pregnant women, elderly and debilitated people. This advice, however, pre-dated the introduction of the British Lion scheme in 1998. The Food Standards Agency reviewed its advice in 2017 and has now confirmed that British Lion eggs can safely be eaten runny, even by pregnant women, babies and elderly people. Read the full details of the latest FSA advice on runny eggs.

Allergy and pregnancy

Pregnant woman with egg

Should you avoid certain foods when pregnant?

It was once thought that women should avoid potentially allergenic foods when pregnant, especially if they had a family history of allergic disease. It is now recognised that avoiding these potentially allergenic foods, for example, peanuts or eggs, is unlikely to increase the risk of allergies to these foods in their babies. In fact some research has shown that eating potentially allergenic foods like eggs when pregnant may help Mums reduce the chances of their baby being allergic to eggs later on. Therefore, eggs can be consumed during pregnancy as part of a varied and balanced diet that includes a wide range of foods, including vegetables, fruit and whole grains, provided that the woman herself is not allergic to eggs.

See the egg allergy section for further information.

If you are a health professional, you can find out more about egg consumption in pregnancy and infant diets in the Journal of Health Visiting.

Why you can trust this page

All information checked by an independent Registered Nutritionist/Dietitian.

The website is provided by the British Egg Industry Council (BEIC). BEIC is recognised by Government and Parliament as the representative voice of the UK egg industry.