Can you eat pavlova when pregnant?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the question “can you eat pavlova when pregnant?”. We will also learn about what pavlova is, how to cook and properly pavlova, what other foods should be avoided when pregnant, what happens when a pregnant woman consumes bacteria contaminated food and the tips to eating safe when pregnant.

Can you eat pavlova when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat pavlova when pregnant. It is highly recommended that pregnant women abstain from dishes that are normally undercooked and contain raw eggs which are susceptible to salmonella contamination leading to food poisoning. Pavlova dishes are well cooked or even made with pasteurised eggs, then they are safe to eat.

What is pavlova?

Pavlova is a popular meringue-based dessert with the appearance of a cake made of egg whites, caster sugar, vinegar or lemon juice, cornflour and vanilla essence. 

It has a crisp crust and a soft and moist marshmallow-like inside and is typically topped with fruits such as kiwifruit, passion fruits, strawberry and whipped cream. 

How to cook pavlova?

The popular dish is very simple to make when the ingredients are available and the needed tools. By following these simple steps you will be able to make a quick dessert recipe. You will usually need a stand or hand mixer, mixer bowl, spatulas, baking tray, parchment paper, measuring jugs, blender, kitchen scale and clean towels and napkins.

  • To start, crack the eggs and separate the yolk from the egg whites. Beat the egg white until they form soft peaks.
  • Afterwards, sweeten with sugar and stiffen with a small amount of corn starch.
  • Pour the meringue batter into a cake shaped cylinder, or sculpt it into other shapes and designs.
  • Now start to bake the pavlova recipe slowly at a low temperature of 200 oF which will be completely done in an hour or a little over that.
  • Leave the dish to sit in the oven for an hour after the heat has been turned off.
  • Now carefully remove from the baking sheet and finish off with whipped cream, fruits and other toppings.

How to store pavlova properly?

  • Your pavlova, once baked and cooled down in the oven, can be stored in an airtight container. 
  • It is important to avoid storing pavlova in the fridge as this will cause the pavlova to become soggy.   
  • You must also avoid storing your pavlova in the freezer, as when thawed, it will cause the shells to lose their crispness.

What other foods should one avoid when pregnant?

Because pregnant women are always eating for two, food is usually an important part of their life. However, some foods are off limits for them because they may contain bacteria which can harm both the baby and mother. 

During pregnancy, people should stay away from food that has a high risk of bacteria or parasitic contamination. Foods that are potentially at risk of bacteria contamination include unpasteurized fruit and vegetable juices, smoked salmon, ceviche, cantaloupe, hot dogs, store bought chicken or ham salads, pepperoni, tiramisu and more. 

Most commonly, these foods are undercooked and their ingredients are high potential sources of bacteria contamination leading to foodborne illness during pregnancy.

What happens when pregnant women consume bacteria contaminated foods?

It is highly risky for pregnant women to consume foods at high risk of bacteria contamination. Some notable bacteria that can cause food poisoning and its implied consequences in pregnant women include listeria and salmonella. When this happens, the impact may be great on both the mothers and their babies and result in several problems including the following:

  • Miscarriages: usually when pregnant women consume potentially contaminated foods, there pass the bacteria to the babies and because the babies are not fully developed in bacteria can destroy the foetus before 20 weeks of pregnancy. 
  • Stillbirth: food poisoning in pregnant women may also result in a stillbirth when the babies die in the womb after 20 weeks of pregnancy. 
  • Birth defects: babies exposed to bacterial infections in the mothers’ wombs may lead to life threatening infections causing swelling in the brain and spinal cord. Infested babies may have problems like seizures, night blindness and more after childbearing. 

What are the tips to eat safely when pregnant?

Most foods and drinks are usually safe to eat during pregnancy if they are properly cooked and stand a low risk of bacteria contamination. When pregnant women eat foods that build them and provide all the nutrients needed for their growth, it is important to consider cooking the meals very well.

  • Thoroughly cook seafood and shellfish like salmon, mackerel, herring, shrimps and more before consuming them.
  • Thoroughly cook eggs until firm and consume products prepared from pasteurised eggs.
  • Properly and well clean raw fruits and vegetables before consuming them.
  • Always eat fully cooked fresh meats and poultry or dried and salted deli meats.
  • Specifically choose pasteurised hard cheeses or processed soft and semi-soft cheese. 


In this brief guide, we have discussed the question “can you eat pavlova when pregnant?”. We have also learnt about what pavlova is, how to cook and properly store pavlova, what other foods to avoid when pregnant, what happens when pregnant women consume bacteria contaminated food and the tips for eating safe when pregnant. 


Hope this article was helpful. Please let us know if you have any questions.