Traditionally, chocolate mousse is known as a rich and creamy, decadent dessert. It gets its texture and flavor not only from chocolate, but also dairy whipping crème and raw eggs.
Many diet and fitness experts have been in the news lately talking up the health benefits of chocolate. So, you might be tempted to enjoy this tasty treat during your pregnancy, but is it really safe to do so?
Why Some Experts Advise Pregnant Women to Avoid Chocolate Mousse
The main concern that many health professionals have about women eating chocolate mousse during their pregnancy is that this dessert may contain raw eggs, which can be contaminated with the salmonella bacteria. Raw eggs may already carry the salmonella bacteria, or, they may become contaminated with it during your food preparation process.
When you boil, fry or otherwise cook an egg, the heat is normally enough to kill any salmonella bacteria that is present. This is why expectant mothers, young children, as well as those with weak immune systems are often advised to avoid anything that might contain raw eggs. In addition to chocolate mousse, homemade mayonnaise, as well as cake and cookie batters and other recipes often contain raw eggs.
Potential Illness from Eating Chocolate Mousse Made With Raw Eggs
Salmonella bacteria can cause a type of food poisoning that brings with it a host of gastrointestinal complaints. The symptoms include fever, nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting. Illness usually develops within a few hours after you consume it, and up to three days later.
Symptoms from this type of food poisoning usually last between 4 to 7 days. Dehydration can occur with this and other types of food poisoning. In rare instances, the illness can progress and turn into a more serious infection known as sepsis which can be dangerous to your baby.
Tips to Have Your Chocolate Mousse and Enjoy it!
While the chances of contracting salmonella from raw eggs are small, you can avoid the risk entirely by ensuring that any eggs that are used to make the dish are pasteurized. Pasteurization kills salmonella and other harmful bacteria, and many prepackaged mixes that are commercially available contain eggs and other ingredients that have been pasteurized.
If you want to indulge your craving for this sweet treat, you can also substitute other ingredients in place of the raw eggs. For example, there are a number of vegan recipes that can be found online that substitute either smashed avocado or silken tofu in place of the raw eggs.
Regardless of which of these alternatives that you choose, rest assured that you do have options if you want to continue to enjoy your chocolate mousse while you are expecting!