Can Pregnant Women Safely Eat Tartar Sauce?

As an expecting mother, you may find yourself questioning every food choice to ensure the safety and health of your growing baby. One such food might be tartar sauce, a popular condiment often paired with seafood and fried foods.

So, is it safe to eat Tartar sauce when pregnant? This article will explore the answer, considering factors like raw ingredients, pasteurization, and homemade versus store-bought options.

Understanding Tartar Sauce


What is Tartar Sauce?

Tartar sauce is a creamy, tangy condiment. this sauce contains mayonnaise, lemon juice, vinegar, and various herbs and capers. The mayo base of tartar sauce usually consists of egg yolk, vinegar, and oil.

The unique tangy flavor comes from the addition of lemon juice and vinegar, while capers and herbs like dill and mustard add a burst of flavor.

Homemade Tartar Sauce vs. Store-Bought

Homemade tartar sauce allows you to control the quality and safety of ingredients. On the other hand, store-bought tartar sauce is convenient but may contain preservatives and stabilizers.

Pregnancy and Diet: An Overview


Foods to Avoid in Pregnancy

During pregnancy, it’s essential to maintain a healthy diet. Certain foods, such as raw or undercooked eggs, unpasteurized dairy products, and certain types of fish, pose a potential risk due to the presence of harmful bacteria like Salmonella or Listeria. So its best to avoids these .

Importance of Pasteurization in Pregnancy

Pasteurization is a process that kills harmful bacteria without the use of chemicals. It’s crucial in pregnancy because expectant mothers are more susceptible to foodborne illnesses.

Is Tartar Sauce Safe During Pregnancy?



The Role of Eggs in Tartar Sauce

Since tartar sauce is typically made with mayonnaise, and mayonnaise often contains raw egg yolk, the safety of tartar sauce during pregnancy comes into question. Raw eggs can carry Salmonella, which can lead to food poisoning.

The Risk of Salmonella

Salmonella is a bacterium that can cause food poisoning, leading to symptoms such as fever, stomach cramps, and diarrhea. Severe cases can pose significant risks during pregnancy, including premature birth or stillbirth.

Homemade Tartar Sauce: A Safer Alternative?


How to Make Tartar Sauce at Home

Making your own tartar sauce at home can be an enjoyable task, and it also gives you full control over the ingredients used, which is especially crucial during pregnancy. Here’s a simple recipe for homemade tartar sauce.


  • 1 cup of mayonnaise (made with pasteurized egg yolks)
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped pickles or pickled cucumbers
  • 1 tablespoon of finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh dill or 1 teaspoon of dried dill
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl. Make sure the mayonnaise is made from pasteurized egg yolks to ensure it’s safe to eat during pregnancy.
  2. Mix well until everything is evenly distributed.
  3. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. Remember, your taste buds might be a little more sensitive during pregnancy, so go easy on the spice.
  4. Chill the sauce in the fridge for at least an hour before serving to allow the flavors to meld together.

This homemade tartar sauce can be served with well-cooked seafood, providing a delightful complement to the dish.

 Benefits of Homemade Tartar Sauce

Homemade tartar sauce allows control over ingredients, ensuring they’re fresh and safe. Using pasteurized or egg-free mayo can ensure the sauce is safe for pregnant women.

Store-Bought Tartar Sauce: Safe for Pregnancy?


Brands of Tartar Sauce

Some brands, like McDonald’s and some supermarkets, use pasteurized eggs in their sauces. Therefore, their tartar sauce would be safe to consume during pregnancy.

When it comes to choosing a tartar sauce brand during pregnancy, safety revolves around whether the product was made with pasteurized eggs or not. Here, we will outline some of the top brands of tartar sauce that are fine to eat during pregnancy thanks to their use of pasteurized ingredients.

Heinz Tartar Sauce:  Known worldwide for its ketchup, Heinz also offers a variety of sauces, including a delicious tartar sauce. It’s made with pasteurized eggs, which makes it safe to eat during pregnancy. The tangy taste of this sauce is a perfect dip for your favorite fry.

Kraft Tartar Sauce:  Kraft is another internationally recognized brand that uses pasteurized eggs in its tartar sauce. The safety of this brand, coupled with its creamy texture and zesty flavor, makes it a suitable choice during pregnancy.

Hellmann’s Tartar Sauce:  Hellmann’s is known for its high-quality mayo, and its tartar sauce is no exception. Made with pasteurized egg yolk, this tartare sauce is a delicious and safe accompaniment for a range of dishes, making it an excellent choice for pregnant women.

McCormick Tartar Sauce:  McCormick tartar sauce is not only tasty but also safe for pregnant women as it is made with pasteurized eggs. This creamy sauce with its tangy twist can take your seafood meals to the next level.

If you prefer homemade tartar sauce, remember to use pasteurized eggs or egg-free mayo. By doing this, you can enjoy the tangy tartare sauce with your favorite dish without worrying about your pregnancy.

It’s important to note that while these brands typically use pasteurized eggs, ingredients can vary depending on the region. Therefore, it’s always advisable to check the product label to ensure it mentions ‘made with pasteurized eggs’ before consumption during pregnancy.

The Issue with Commercial Mayo

Commercial mayo, used in store-bought tartar sauce, is generally made with pasteurized eggs and is safe to consume. However, always check the label to ensure it’s made with pasteurized eggs.

Tips for Eating Tartar Sauce Safely During Pregnancy

Ensure your tartar sauce is made with pasteurized eggs, whether homemade or store-bought. Avoid sauces left out for extended periods as they may harbor bacteria.

While tartar sauce can be a tasty addition to your meals, it’s essential to consume it safely during pregnancy.

  1. Check Ingredients: Whether homemade or store-bought, make sure the tartar sauce is made with pasteurized eggs or egg-free mayo. This reduces the risk of salmonella, which can be harmful during pregnancy.
  2. Avoid Raw Eggs: Tartar sauce made from raw eggs should be avoided during pregnancy. Always opt for pasteurized ingredients to ensure safety.
  3. Proper Storage: Store tartar sauce in the fridge to prevent the growth of bacteria. Avoid eating tartar sauce that’s been left out for more than two hours.
  4. Pair with Well-Cooked Foods: Use tartar sauce as a dip with well-cooked seafood or other dishes. Ensure the food you pair with tartar sauce is thoroughly cooked and safe for consumption during pregnancy.
  5. Balanced Diet: While it’s okay to satisfy your cravings, remember to maintain a healthy diet. Tartar sauce should be consumed as part of a balanced meal.
  6. Moderation: Even with safe ingredients, it’s best to consume tartar sauce in moderation.

Pregnancy requires you to take extra precautions with your diet. So, even though homemade tartar sauce made with pasteurized eggs is safe, it’s always a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider before introducing any new food into your diet during this period.

Other Sauces Pregnant Women Can Safely Enjoy

Most store-bought sauces like ketchup, BBQ sauce, and hot sauce are safe during pregnancy, as they’re usually made without raw eggs and are pasteurized.

When to Seek Medical Advice

If you experience symptoms like vomiting, high fever, or severe stomach pain after eating, seek medical advice immediately. These symptoms may indicate a foodborne illness.

Conclusion: Can Pregnant Women Eat Tartar Sauce?

In conclusion, it’s generally safe for pregnant women to eat tartar sauce if it’s made with pasteurized eggs or egg-free mayonnaise. Homemade tartar sauce made with safe ingredients is an excellent option. As always, when in doubt, seek advice from a healthcare professional.



  1. Is it safe to eat tartar sauce while pregnant? Yes, as long as it’s made with pasteurized eggs or egg-free mayonnaise.
  2. Can I make tartar sauce at home? Absolutely, homemade tartar sauce gives you control over ingredients, ensuring they’re fresh and safe.
  3. What brands of tartar sauce are safe for pregnant women? Brands that use pasteurized eggs, like McDonald’s and some supermarket brands, are safe.
  4. Is commercial mayo in tartar sauce safe during pregnancy? Yes, commercial mayo is typically made with pasteurized eggs and is safe to consume. Always check the label to confirm.
  5. What other sauces are safe for pregnant women? Most store-bought sauces like ketchup, BBQ sauce, and hot sauce are safe as they’re typically made without raw eggs and are pasteurized.

Get Access Now:


  1. American Pregnancy Association
  2. Food Safety in Pregnancy
  3. [FDA – Eating Fish: What Pregnant Women and Parents Should Know](


This post is written and edited by Sandy who is a clinical pharmacist with over 20 years of experience specializing in pre-natal and post-natal care.