When you're pregnant, you can't really eat anything you want (and you definitely also are not advised to eat for two!). Like it or not, medical professionals may advise against certain types of food because these may leave you at risk for bacteria infection and other food-borne illnesses. One of those bawal are runny or slightly cooked eggs. However, a new report in the United Kingdom (U.K.) says pregnant women can now have these, but it comes with a set of conditions.
A newly published report by the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) in the U.K. says runny or raw eggs are now safe for pregnant women to consume--as long as the eggs are produced under strict quality measures and has the Lion Quality seal.
Lion Quality eggs, according to its website, are produced under strict compliance to high-quality standards. The hatcheries, breeding farms, and feed mills that earn the Lion Quality stamp of approval need to pass rigorous microbiological monitoring and hygiene tests. More importantly, "all birds destined for Lion Quality egg-producing flocks are vaccinated against Salmonella enteritidis using an approved vaccine." These eggs are also traceable, so any illness due to consuming these eggs can be reported and addressed to accordingly.
"Whilst this latest evidence from the Advisory Committee on the Microbiological Safety of Food says that the risks are greatly reduced, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) continues to recommend that vulnerable groups including pregnant women do not eat raw or lightly cooked eggs, or any food that is uncooked or only lightly cooked and contains raw eggs," said Louise Silverton, director for Midwifery at the Royal College of Midwives. The U.K Food Standards Agency have yet to weigh in on the report's new recommendation.
While we don’t have Lion Quality eggs here, here are some guidelines in how to choose high quality eggs.
Only buy from reputable brands. Do your research. Know how a company feeds its hens, produces the eggs and handles them.
Look for a ‘best before date,’ roughly 28 days from laying. Also, eggs should only be offered for sale to consumers up to a maximum of 21 days after lay.
If you buy fresh eggs by bulk, make sure to store them properly. Fresh whole eggs can be stored in the refrigerator until three to five weeks; at room temperature for at least a week or two. Eggs that were taken out of their shells and stored in the refrigerator can only last up to two to four days. If stored in the freezer (sans their shells and with some salt and sugar), eggs can last up to a year.
Makes sure you know how to spot a bad egg. Check out the video below. If you're still not convinced, crack the shell open and if it shows a round fluffy bright yellow yolk with a thick cloudy whites, then it’s fresh. A flat egg yolk with runny and watery whites is not a good sign.
So, just like in choosing raw fish to eat, preggos should always go for fresh ones and those from high-quality restaurants or food suppliers. If you aren’t exactly sure of an egg’s freshness, it’s still best to cook it well-done just to be on the safe side.