Can You Eat Macaroni Salad When Pregnant? [Explained]

Verified by Edna Skopljak MD
Verified by Edna Skopljak MD

Edna Skopljak is a medical doctor and an editor at BJBMS medical journal. She graduated from the University of Sarajevo School of Science and Technology.

Many pregnant women ask a common question during holidays: can I eat macaroni salad when pregnant? Some risks are associated with eating macaroni salad while pregnant, but there are also ways to enjoy this dish safely. 

It’s essential to know the pros and cons of consuming macaroni salad during pregnancy before indulging. Let’s find out!

Can you eat macaroni salad when pregnant?

Yes, macaroni salad is generally safe for pregnant women to consume as long as it is safely prepared. The common ingredients in macaroni salad include mayonnaise, hard-boiled eggs, cooked macaroni noodles, and vegetables. 

These ingredients are safe for pregnant women to consume and can even provide essential nutrients during pregnancy.

However, when consuming macaroni salad, pregnant women must ensure that the food has been prepared properly in a clean and sanitized environment. For example, any food containing mayonnaise should be stored in a refrigerator and kept below 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

Additionally, you must cook the eggs thoroughly and ensure that any vegetables used have been washed and pre-cooked, if possible, to avoid the risk of foodborne illnesses. 

Eating macaroni salad during pregnancy can provide essential nutrients for the growing baby. The cooked macaroni noodles can offer carbohydrates, which are necessary for providing energy throughout the day. 

Vegetables may also give some key vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin A and folate, which play an essential role in a growing baby’s development. The eggs may also contain some protein and healthy fats that can help the pregnant woman stay fuller for longer.

Overall, macaroni salad is generally safe to eat when pregnant. Nevertheless, it’s important to practice safe food-handling practices to avoid any potential risks associated with consuming food during pregnancy. 

Can you eat deli macaroni salad when pregnant?

It is recommended not to eat deli macaroni salad when pregnant. Deli macaroni salads may contain ingredients that are not safe for pregnant women and can be contaminated with bacteria such as Listeria or Salmonella. 

Additionally, the temperature at which deli macaroni salad is stored and served may not be safe for pregnant women—for these reasons, avoiding deli macaroni salad when pregnant is best.

Can I get salads at restaurants while pregnant?

Yes, definitely. Pregnant women may have salads from restaurants and cafes as long as they are prepared with fresh ingredients.

Check with the restaurant or cafe staff to ensure that the ingredients are fresh and cooked correctly, and avoid salads containing raw eggs, undercooked meat, or unpasteurized dairy products. These foods can put your health at risk. 

What salads are safe to eat during pregnancy? 

Pregnant women can enjoy a variety of salads during their pregnancy. Some safe and healthy salads include:

  • Fresh fruit salad with low-fat yogurt
  • A vegetable salad made with fresh, washed vegetables
  • Grilled chicken or fish over a bed of greens
  • Tuna or egg salad made with low-fat mayo
  • Greek salad made with feta cheese, olives, tomatoes, and cucumber
  • Lentil or bean salad with fresh herbs and vegetables.
Conclusion 

Preparing a macaroni salad at home with fresh ingredients is the safest meal option for pregnant women. Macaroni salad can provide essential nutrients during pregnancy and help keep pregnant women energized and healthy. 

However, their appetite for deli salads may be insatiable. Still, they should beware as these types of salad may not follow the strict food safety guidelines necessary to protect pregnant women and their developing babies. Additionally, pregnant women should always check the ingredient list of any salad before eating it to ensure that all ingredients are safe. 

Sources: 

  1. https://www.askdrmanny.com/the-guide-to-pregnancy-safety-food-and-drugs-to-avoid/
  2. https://www.healthtap.com/q/is-macaroni-salad-safe-during-pregnancy/
  3. https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/eating-well/week-17/eating-out.aspx
  4. https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/salads-safe-eat-pregnant-1697.html