Eggs for pregs
Pasteurised eggs mean pregnant women can have their’s sunny side up.
(Getty Images)
Undercooked eggs have always been top of the list of foods to avoid if you're pregnant or immune compromised. But thanks to a group of innovative South African researchers, moms-to-be and other health-conscious consumers can now safely enjoy raw and soft-boiled shell eggs.

Pregnant women, who are generally advised to avoid raw eggs, often think they're safe if they simply steer clear of health shakes or other egg-containing beverages. But raw or undercooked eggs can also be found in a myriad of other foods, such as chocolate mousse, tiramisu, homemade nougat, home-made ice cream, hollandaise sauce and mayonnaise. These foods can all be contaminated with salmonella bacteria.

Harmful food-borne bacteria can penetrate the foetus’ bloodstream via the placenta. Research shows that this can lead to birth defects and miscarriage.

A simple, cost-effective solution to the worldwide problem of salmonella-infected eggs was long overdue when the technique of pasteurising shell eggs by means of microwave technology was first conceived by the South African researchers.

Researchers from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa, in collaboration with the South African company Safe Eggs, have successfully developed a pasteurisation system that greatly reduces the risk of Salmonella infection acquired from eggs. This led to the first sales of pasteurised, whole shell eggs, or "safe eggs", in South Africa last year.

For more on egg pasteurisation, visit Health24.

Which foods did you avoid when pregnant?

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