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Pregnant and mayonnaise

  1. Some women have doubts whether they should eat mayonnaise during pregnancy. Industrially made mayonnaise is safe due to its hygienic preparation and the use of safe ingredients. It's a different story with homemade mayonnaise. The safety of the mayonnaise depends on how it is cooked by the cook, and homemade mayonnaise may contain dangerous bacteria. Because it often does not involve Listeria or Toxoplasma, there are no risks to the unborn child. However, it must be taken into account that the pregnant woman may be more susceptible to dangerous bacteria due to a reduced resistance.


  1. In the Netherlands and Belgium, mayonnaise is often eaten with fries or other fried foods. Mayonnaise is also often used on sandwiches, in salads or with meat or bread. The taste of mayonnaise varies by brand and by region. In the Netherlands, for example, sugar is often added to the mayonnaise for a sweeter taste. Mayonnaise is more sour in Belgium. But the basic ingredients, oil and egg yolk, are present in all true mayonnaises.


  1. The main ingredients of mayonnaise are egg yolk, oil, vinegar or lemon juice, mustard, herbs, salt, pepper and possibly sugar. According to the commodity law, mayonnaise must contain at least seventy percent oil and five percent egg yolk. There are mayonnaises for sale without egg or with less oil, but legally they cannot be called mayonnaise. These are therefore often sold under a different name, such as mayo line or semi-vinegar.

Bacteria in mayonnaise

  1. Mayonnaise is an acidic product, so most bacteria cannot grow quickly in this product. However, if the mayonnaise already contains a number of bacteria during the preparation, these can grow over time. This is certainly the case if the mayonnaise is stored at room temperature. The safety of mayonnaise therefore depends to a large extent on hygiene during preparation and the contamination level of the ingredients.

Industrial mayonnaise

  1. Industrially prepared mayonnaise often does not contain highly contaminated ingredients such as raw eggs. Pasteurized egg yolks are often used instead. In most cases, a factory also works hygienically. Industrial mayonnaise can be bought ready-made in the store and is used in most cases at snack bars and chip stands.

Homemade mayonnaise

  1. However, homemade mayonnaise is regularly prepared with raw eggs. Eggs can be contaminated with bacteria. It is also possible that the preparation is less hygienic, so that the risk of contamination of homemade mayonnaise is greater than the risk of contamination of industrial mayonnaise. Homemade mayonnaise is available in some restaurants.

Bacteria in eggs

  1. Eggs naturally contain a protective layer on the eggshell, which prevents bacteria from entering the egg as quickly. But the outside of an egg can be contaminated with bacteria because an egg comes from the same exit of the chicken as the stool. In addition, an egg from a Salmonella-infected chicken can also be contaminated with Salmonella. This contamination comes from within because it has already occurred in the chicken's ovary. Because Salmonella is being controlled better in laying hens, the chance of an egg contaminated with Salmonella is getting smaller. It is estimated that this probability is less than 1 in 20,000.

Mayonnaise during pregnancy

  1. Because industrial mayonnaise is hygienic, it does not contain harmful bacteria and can be eaten during pregnancy. Homemade mayonnaise can also often be eaten, but there are risks involved. If the mayonnaise is prepared with raw eggs, there is a chance that the mayonnaise contains Salmonella. Certainly if the work has not been done hygienically and, for example, bacteria from the outside of the egg have entered the mayonnaise. Salmonella is unable to reach the unborn child through the placenta. However, because pregnant women are more prone to contracting an infection, they have to be extra careful when eating high-risk products. If you don't want to take any risks, you can always ask if you are pregnant in a restaurant if the mayonnaise is homemade and if it contains raw eggs.

Tips for homemade mayonnaise during pregnancy

  1. If you still like to make your own mayonnaise instead of eating store-bought mayonnaise, here are some tips to minimize the risk of dangerous bacteria:

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