Pregnant women have many questions about their bodies.
What activities can they do? What foods should they eat?
But perhaps one of the most common yet weird queries is, “Can I eat custard when pregnant?”
Remember: Being pregnant doesn’t mean you have to give up all of your favourite desserts; it just means you have to be a bit more conscious about the ingredients of your food.
Continue reading this article to know more about custard and its effects on pregnancy.
Eating Custard During Pregnancy
It is safe to eat custard during pregnancy as long as it is made with pasteurised egg yolks.
Most commercially available custard is pasteurised, but homemade custard or ‘Creme Anglais’ may not suit pregnant women because it is made from raw egg, cream, vanilla, and milk.
What Kind of Custards Should Pregnant Women Avoid?
Due to the risk of salmonella, pregnant women should avoid custards made with unpasteurised eggs. Thus, avoiding most homemade and restaurant-made fresh custards would be best.
Unpasteurised eggs are frequently used in homes and restaurants to thicken custard sauce. Even if the custard is hot, the eggs are not thoroughly cooked as they would become scrambled eggs.
Custard made with unpasteurised eggs does not reach a safe temperature for expectant mothers. Thus, it is best to ask about the ingredients before ordering or buying them.
Does Custard Contain Raw Eggs?
Although not all custards are egg-based, egg custard is typically made with raw egg yolks. The eggs are not heated until cooked because their purpose is to thicken the sauce.
Therefore, custards are only safe to consume during pregnancy if the eggs and other ingredients, such as cream and milk, have been pasteurised.
Are All Custards Pasteurized?
Pasteurisation is almost always applied in the production of commercial egg custard. “Commercially made” means the custard was made in a factory and sold in stores and supermarkets.
This custard is safe to eat during pregnancy because it contains pasteurised eggs, cream, milk, or other ingredients.
Some popular custard brands made with pasteurised egg yolks are:
- Anchor Custard
- Ambrosia Devon Custard
- Pauls Custard
Most supermarket custard brands (either fresh or in tubs and cans) contain pasteurised ingredients that are safe to consume for pregnant people. It’s still best to read the label before purchasing any food for your safety.
Powdered custard is also safe for pregnant women as it does not contain eggs. Custard powder is safe to eat if the milk used in its preparation is pasteurised. Birds custard is a famous powdered custard brand.
You should be aware that the “Lion Mark” eggs are an exception. Despite not being pasteurised, the products made with these eggs are safe to eat while pregnant.
Other Products Containing Custard
Custard Pie and Custard Tarts
Pregnant women can eat custard pies or tarts that are baked well. It means that the pie or tart should have fully set eggs.
It would be best to avoid tarts and pies with runny eggs or wobbly textures. To ensure the safety of these baked goods, insert a toothpick into the centre of the pie or tart. The pie or tart is okay to consume if the toothpick comes out completely dry.
Custard is a popular doughnut filling, and the rules for commercial and non-commercial custards are the same. Commercial or mass-produced custard doughnuts are likely to contain pasteurised eggs but double-check first.
When purchasing from small and independent bakeries, always ask if they use pasteurised eggs. You can safely consume these doughnuts during pregnancy if the ingredients are pasteurised.
Custard Squares or Slices
Most commercially made custard squares or slices are also safe for the consumption of pregnant women. To be sure, make it a habit to check the label first.
Smaller bakeries may use unpasteurised eggs, so it’s best to check with each establishment about their ingredients, as they vary.
Custard and Fruit Salad
If the custard is powdered or pre-made, and the fruit is from a tin, it is safe to consume during pregnancy.
Eating homemade custard or pre-cut fruit is not advisable, as these contain a higher risk of listeria. Tinned fruit, on the other hand, has been pasteurised and is therefore safe.
This famous biscuit is not traditionally made with custard.
Most bakeries use a vanilla-flavoured buttercream-style spread. It tastes like custard, but it’s not made of custard and contains no raw eggs. Thus, they are safe to eat while pregnant.
Desserts made with custard may be tasty, but they are frequently made with raw eggs, which may contain salmonella.
Salmonella can cause an infection that affects people other than pregnant women. So far, the salmonella infection rate is very high because of eating raw or not well-cooked food. Thus, it is essential to check the label or ask before purchasing.
Custard contains some nutrients, such as protein and calcium, owing to its dairy content. However, it is frequently high in fat and sugar.
Therefore, it’s best to eat custard in moderation during pregnancy. You can also get one with no added sugar, which may be a better option if you’re pregnant.
Ask your doctor for nutrition advice if you have gestational diabetes or high-risk pregnancy.