Can You Eat Carbonara When Pregnant? Let’s Find Out

carbonara while pregnant

Pregnancy is a time when many women become extra cautious about what they eat, and for a good reason. The food you consume during pregnancy not only affects your health but also that of your developing baby.

Therefore, it’s essential to be mindful of what you’re eating and avoid any potential risks. Carbonara is a classic Italian pasta dish that’s loved by many, but for pregnant women, there may be some concerns about its safety. The main concern is the use of raw or undercooked eggs, which can contain salmonella bacteria.

In this article, we’ll explore whether or not it’s safe to eat carbonara when pregnant and what precautions you can take to enjoy this delicious dish safely.

Is carbonara pasta safe to eat when pregnant?

There are only a few key ingredients required for authentic Italian carbonara, according to searches and even cookbooks, including:

  • Eggs
  • Pasta
  • Guanciale (or pancetta as a substitute)
  • Parmesan cheese (or pecorino, if parmesan is unavailable)
  • Black pepper

The sauce is not made with cream, unlike what many people believe. Instead, eggs and pecorino cheese are used. However, some people also add parmesan. In addition to fettuccine, this pasta recipe also uses spaghetti and linguini. Yet other people also use rigatoni or penne pasta. The preferred fat or meat is guanciale.

Further research reveals that the sauce is just warmed, not actually cooked. What does that mean for the safety of the sauce and carbonara in general for women who are pregnant? Let’s examine the substances that can cause worry for women who are pregnant.

Carbonara in pregnancy

carbonara when pregnant

For pregnant women, the most troublesome ingredient in carbonara is eggs. Egg yolks or whole eggs are used with pecorino/parmesan in classic carbonara (and black pepper for some). The hot pasta in the pan receives this mixture. Several carbonara recipes advise turning the heat off or to the lowest setting. As a result, the eggs don’t fully cook. If they did, you would have pasta with scrambled eggs.

As a result, due to the presence of eggs in carbonara, pregnant women should stay away from it. The CDC advises cooking eggs at a minimum temperature of 160°F (71.1°C). The FDA also cautions against using eggs that have not been pasteurized or handled in a manner that has been shown to effectively remove Salmonella.

Pregnant women and the babies they carry run the risk of getting salmonella from contaminated eggs. Both the inside and outside of eggs can have salmonella. A study found that pasteurized eggs are beneficial for those with impaired immune systems, especially when used in recipes that call for raw or undercooked eggs. Pasteurized eggs may offer a practical solution for lowering salmonellosis occurrence.

So what do you need to do? If you’re cooking carbonara at home, choose pasteurized eggs or a commercially produced pasteurized sauce, we’ve included a list of some that are safe during pregnancy below. If you order it from a restaurant, it will probably be freshly made with uncooked eggs and is therefore unsafe to consume while pregnant.

It is preferable to substitute something else until your baby is born. You may enquire at the establishment if pasteurized eggs are used. If so, the food would be safe.

Meats in Carbonara

Traditional carbonara uses pancetta or guanciale as the meat. The closest substitute would be bacon; see here for our special piece on bacon during pregnancy.

Because of the curing ingredients used, cooked cured meats may retain some of their pink color even after reaching a safe temperature. Yet, they ought to be secure if fried till crispy. Whichever one you choose to use is safe because you’ll be cooking it in a pan over medium heat to let the oils come out, which will cause it to brown and cook.

Cheese in Carbonara

Carbonara is made with either pecorino, parmesan, or a blend of the two. Both kinds of cheese are safe to eat while pregnant because they are hard cheeses.

In contrast to traditional parmesan cheese, pecorino has been pasteurized. Even though parmesan is unpasteurized, it is safe to eat while pregnant due to its low moisture content.

Is store-bought carbonara sauce safe to consume during pregnancy?

carbonara during pregnancy

Because they have been pasteurized, the majority of store-bought or commercial sauces made with eggs are safe. You might want to confirm this, though, by reading the packaging or doing some research.

Most creamy texture sauces on the market, including those used in carbonara, are produced using heavy cream that has also been pasteurized rather than eggs.

Here are a few well-liked pregnancy-safe options:

  • Dolmio Carbonara Pasta Bake Sauce Is Safe
  • Gino Angelini Pasta Sauce Is Safe
  • Knorr Fix Spaghetti alla Carbonara Is Safe
  • Savini Tartufi Parmigiano Reggiano Truffle Cream Is Safe

In general, pregnant women can eat carbonara as long as the sauce is made using pre-made store-bought versions or pasteurized eggs. We sincerely hope you found this post useful.


Q1: Can a pregnant woman eat egg pasta?

Despite the fact that fresh pasta is made with egg, it is safe to eat because it has been thoroughly cooked. Fresh egg pasta is safe to eat when expecting.

Q2: When expecting, is cooked Parmesan safe to eat?

Certain milk and dairy products are safe to eat during pregnancy, such as All hard cheeses, like cheddar, Parmesan, or Gruyere.

Q3: Can a pregnant woman eat creamy pasta?

Certainly, you can eat in moderation, but only pasta that is made from scratch. Avoid purchasing ready-made pasta from stores because it is unhealthy. Moreover, overeating anything is unhealthy.

Q4: Which pasta is most suitable during pregnancy?

The majority of health shops as well as online retailers now carry whole wheat pasta, quinoa pasta, spelt pasta, semolina pasta, and even red bean pasta dish. These substitutions are strong in protein and fiber and reduce obesity throughout the first three trimesters of pregnancy. Simple flour pasta consumption increases weight gain and blood sugar levels.

Q5: Which cheeses should pregnant women stay away from?

Avoid eating soft cheeses with a similar rind, such as brie, camembert, and chevre (a type of goat cheese). Also, steer clear of soft blue-veined cheeses like Danish blue cheese and gorgonzola. They contain listeria, a type of bacteria that can harm your unborn baby, and they are made with mold.


Pregnant women can eat carbonara as long as they take the necessary precautions of using only pasteurized eggs and store-bought creamy sauces.

They should also opt for hard cheeses such as parmesan or pecorino and avoid soft cheese with a rind. With these measures in place, pregnant women can enjoy carbonara without worrying about the potential risks to them.