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Can You Eat Runny Or Over Easy Eggs While Pregnant?

Raw eggs have always been a source of controversy, especially for pregnant women. Some say that raw eggs can cause salmonella or other bacterial infections.

Others have deemed that the risk is so low that pregnant women should feel safe consuming raw or undercooked eggs. Because of this, I didn’t look for opinions regarding the safety of eating runny eggs while pregnant.

Instead, it’s best to go through doing some research yourself. The answer is that it depends on where you live. In the UK, for example, the FSA says that it’s perfectly safe. In the USA, however, it is advised for pregnant women to avoid runny eggs.

The Advisory Against Eating Raw Eggs Began In The ’80s

In the 1980s, there was a huge outbreak of salmonella. It was during this time that people, in general, were advised against eating raw or undercooked eggs.

In particular, pregnant women were told to avoid consuming undercooked eggs for fear of how it would affect the unborn baby. 

After this, several countries began to revamp their entire egg-producing procedure in hopes of making eggs safe to eat raw or undercooked. Some places have succeeded. Others never made the effort.

Still, others are still working on the long process. This process often involves studying eggs for at least a year to measure bacteria levels and to assess the risk that there is of developing a bacterial infection or illness, such as salmonella. 

Can You Eat Over Easy Eggs While Pregnant? You Can If They’re Britain Eggs

The FSA, which stands for Food Safety Administration, has determined that British Lion Eggs are safe for pregnant women to eat over easy. These eggs can be consumed raw if preferred.

They spent a year studying the levels of bacteria in both hens and their eggs. And with startling results, the levels of bacteria are so low, they are almost non-existent.

British Lion eggs 

This comes after years of working on the process of producing eggs. Hens now receive vaccines. Farms and even trucks have higher hygiene standards for hens and their eggs.

Transportation has also changed. All of these changes and higher standards have contributed to them producing eggs that are safe to eat raw or over easy. 

Can You Eat Over Easy Eggs While Pregnant From Different Brands In The UK?

While the British Lion stamp has become the stamp of approval, other brands of eggs have yet to earn the same high ranking from the FSA. Because of this, it is not recommended for pregnant women to eat over-easy eggs from other brands.

If you are considering it, make sure to research the brand thoroughly or contact the FSA for more information to avoid putting you and your unborn baby at risk. 

Can You Eat Over Easy Eggs While Pregnant In The USA?

No, you cannot. The FDA, which stands for Food and  Drug Administration, has refused to lift the warning that is on pregnant women, or anyone, consuming raw or undercooked eggs.

According to the FDA, it depends on the eggs, their origin, how they are processed, transported, etc.

Because they cannot guarantee that this is going to eliminate bacteria in all eggs, they continue with the advisory that pregnant women should not consume easy eggs to make sure that everyone is safe. 

Moms Give Mixed Reviews On Runny Eggs

A quick browse through forums online will give you all kinds of controversial advice. Some swear that it’s dangerous while others claim that they enjoyed over-easy eggs every day while pregnant, and experienced no side effects.

pregnant woman eating

The fact is, it could go either way.

Yes, one mom may be able to enjoy over easy or soft boiled eggs without experiencing salmonella. Another mom that gets eggs from a different store, that came from a different location, might not be able to boast about the same thing.

It’s important to remember that every person is different when reading those reviews online. Just because one person doesn’t get sick, doesn’t mean that you won’t. 

Salmonella And Pregnancy

Salmonella, the primary reason for over-easy eggs being discouraged, can have quite a few effects on you, your pregnancy, and your unborn baby. These can also range from mild to severe, depending on the case. 


In rare cases, the infection can result in miscarriage. This happens when the infection crosses through the placenta and into the amniotic fluid. Often, this can end in a miscarriage.

If you are far enough along, it can result in premature birth. 

Infant Can Catch Salmonella During Birth

If the baby is exposed during birth, which is often the case if the mother is sick when she gives birth, the baby can get sick. This can require a longer hospital stay.

The baby may wind up being slightly behind developmentally due to being sick for a week or two after being born. The baby may also catch it in the womb and be born with it. This will result in diarrhea, fever, and possibly meningitis. 


Because this infection can cause diarrhea, you have a higher chance of becoming dehydrated. This happens because of the rapid fluid loss, and most people cannot drink enough fluids to accommodate for it. This can cause: 

  • A decrease in the amount of amniotic fluid
  • Loss of important vitamins and nutrients for you and the baby
  • Slower development in the baby
  • Neural defects
  • Pre-term labor

This symptom alone, even if salmonella is not present in the baby, can lead to a miscarriage or pre-term labor.

Final Word

Often, the risk of eating over-easy eggs far outweighs the benefits. This is why doctors and the FDA recommend that pregnant women do not consume runny eggs at all.

Instead, it is encouraged that pregnant women get their protein from other sources, such as cooked chicken. This is safer for both the mom to be and the baby. 

Women that cannot live without their eggs can still eat them, but they can not eat over-easy eggs. Instead, hard-boiled eggs, scrambled eggs, and thoroughly cooked omelets should be eaten while pregnant.

If you do purchase British Lion Eggs, make sure to check the FSA for food safety warnings. Every so often, they do raise the alarm for salmonella. The safest practice is always to cook eggs thoroughly.