Can You Eat Cheese While Pregnant

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Tips To Prevent Listeria

Can I eat cheese while pregnant? | Nourish with Melanie #111

It is true that cooking tends to kill listeria. However, this is a very resilient strain of bacterium that can also breed in your freezer or the refrigerator. So, taking precautions to avoid ingesting this bacterium is how you can stay safe when pregnant. Heres how you can do this.

  • Be sure to wash your hands well after youve been out. Scrub with soap and if the soap is not available, use a hand sanitizer.
  • Get only pasteurised dairy products
  • If you must eat soft cheese, cook it till it boils and consume it immediately. Do not refrigerate it after cooking.
  • Cook all meats such as poultry, lamb and fish well before eating.
  • Reheat leftovers thoroughly before consuming.
  • Dont keep food beyond its expiration date and this applies to cheeses also.
  • Clean kitchen sponges and dishcloths regularly as they can be a breeding ground for listeria.

There is no way you can prevent cravings during your pregnancy or even control the type of food you crave. While cheese cravings might not be the best or safest, being cautious about what cheese you eat can stand you in good stead. Read the label and make an informed choice if you must satiate your cheese craving.

Listeria bacterium is so common that it might not be possible to avoid exposure fully. So, be sure to contact your doctor if you notice any unusual symptoms when pregnant.

Disclaimer: This information is just a guide and not a substitute for medical advice from a qualified professional.

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Cheese made from unpasteurised milk should not be eaten during pregnancy. In India, nearly all types of cheese available in the market including mozzarella are made from pasteurised milk and are safe to consume during pregnancy, except feta cheese which is not pasteurised, the gynaecologist informed.

The Truth About Eating Cheese Safely During Pregnancy

The list of foods and drinks you shouldnt consume while pregnant is longer than most people realize. Alcohol, lunch meat, sushi, and excessive caffeine are the widely known ones to avoid, but the dos and donts of eating your favorite cheese while pregnant is a little bit trickier.

Listeriosis is incredibly rare. According to the CDC, around 1,700 people get listeriosis every year, but pregnant women are 20 times more likely to become infected. Foods made with unpasteurized milk, like some cheeses, can contain Listeria, which is usually killed during the processes of pasteurization and cooking. Pregnant women can definitely still enjoy cheese, there are just a few rules of thumb to follow before making your next grocery run.

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The calcium and protein in cheese will promote your babys growth, so dont ditch your cheese loving habits! As a general rule, imported cheese is much more likely to be unpasteurized than domestic cheese. However, hard cheeses like cheddar and Parmesan are usually safe to eat during pregnancy. Semi-soft cheeses like mozzarella are also safe so dont worry about giving up your favorite pizza during pregnancy. Any cheese thats pasteurized and processed is also safe to eat, such as cottage cheese and cream cheese.

What Cheese Do You Have to Avoid While Pregnant?

The Best Solution? Read Your Labels Carefully

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The One Thing That Makes All Cheese Safe In Pregnancy

Before launching into the lists of safe/unsafe cheese, remember that heating cheese of any type kills listeria and therefore makes the cheese safe to eat if youre pregnant. This includes any on the unsafe list, because the unsafe part only refers to the cheese being eaten cold or at room temperature.

If the cheese is cooked until steaming hot , then any listeria bacteria will be killed, and it will be safe to eat if youre pregnant. Here are some examples of where unsafe cheese becomes safe when heated:

If youre ever in doubt about whether a cheese is safe, heat it up. The general guideline is steaming hot as this is a visual way of telling how hot a cheese is. If you want to be totally sure, then use a thermometer and ensure the internal temperature of the cheese has reached 165F or 75c.

A list of common cheese dishes and whether theyre safe appears later in this article.

Is Cream Cheese Safe To Eat When Pregnant

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Yes, cream cheese is safe to eat during pregnancy. Cream cheese is made with pasteurized milk. If you are pregnant and you are eating regular cream cheese, there is no need to worry about the ingredients in it.

However, if you want to be extra careful while eating food during pregnancy, then its best to avoid any foods that contain raw milk. As long as youre avoiding these foods, then you should be fine when eating regular cream cheese during pregnancy.

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What Should I Know About Cream Cheese When Pregnant

Cream cheese is a great source of calcium, protein, and vitamins A and D. Its also a good source of potassium.

However, its important to note that cream cheese does have some dairy ingredients, including milk and cream, which are all considered high in fat and sodium.

In addition to the fat and sodium content, cream cheese also contains some lactose . This can cause digestive problems for some people with lactose intolerance or sensitivity to lactose.

If youre pregnant or breastfeeding, its best to avoid using cream cheese as much as possible because it can cause gas and bloating, and constipation may occur if you dont consume enough fiber.

Why Its Generally Safe During Pregnancy

The key step in the making of American cream cheese that makes it safe for pregnant women to consume is the pasteurization of the cream.

Like we mentioned, the heating process kills harmful bacteria. This includes listeria bacteria, which can cause a dangerous infection in those with weaker immune systems like newborns, older adults, and you guessed it pregnant people.

So cream cheese lovers rejoice its safe for you to consume while pregnant.

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Is Cream Cheese Frosting Safe During Pregnancy

Yes, cream cheese frosting is safe to eat during pregnancy, although there are a few precautions you should take.

First and foremost, avoid eating too much of it. Eating too much can cause nausea or indigestion. If you do feel nauseous, make sure to drink plenty of water and eat small portions at a time.

You can also try eating less cream cheese in your frosting recipe. This will help you avoid any stomach pain or discomfort.

Finally, if youre not feeling well after eating the frosting, dont try to hide it from your doctor! Your doctor will have better advice about how much cream cheese is safe for you to eat while pregnant.

Some Types Of Goat Cheese Are Unsafe For Pregnant Women

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Certain varieties of goat cheese are considered unsafe to eat during pregnancy because of the risk of food poisoning.

Pregnant women are especially susceptible to food poisoning. For instance, they may be 1020 times likelier to contract listeriosis, a foodborne illness caused by the Listeriamonocytogenes bacterium, than the general population .

Listeriosis largely only causes mild fever and flu-like symptoms for the mother, but it may lead to meningitis, blood infection, or death for the baby .

Soft cheeses made from raw, unpasteurized goat milk have a higher risk of bacterial contamination. This is also the case with all surface-ripened goat cheeses .

Surface-ripened also known as mold-ripened goat cheese is easily recognizable by its soft white rind, which is similar to those on Brie and Camembert cheeses.

The Food and Drug Administration estimates that raw and surface-ripened soft cheeses are 50160 times likelier to be contaminated with Listeria than pasteurized cheeses, significantly increasing your risk of listeriosis during pregnancy .


Pregnant women should steer clear of soft goat cheeses that are surface-ripened or made from raw, unpasteurized goat milk due to the increased risk of listeriosis.

A few kinds of goat cheese are typically deemed safe to eat during pregnancy due to a much lower risk of food poisoning.

However, theres still a small chance of bacterial contamination .

All the same, safe types include:

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Soft White Mould Cheese And Blue Cheese

Food safety authorities in Australia, the UK and the USA all agree on the following: pregnant women should avoid soft cheeses with a white mould rind such as Brie, Camembert and matured Chèvre. And also soft blue cheeses such as Danish Blue, Roquefort and Gorgonzola.

The reason for that is that they have a high moisture content and low acidity. That combination provides the perfect environment for Listeria to proliferate.

Is All Cottage Cheese Pasteurized

Cottage cheese during pregnancy is safe until its wholly pasteurized. Let us give you good news.

Most cottage cheese you buy from the supermarket is now wholly pasteurized. You only have to be careful about what kind of cottage cheese you consume during your pregnancy, but you dont have to make it such a big deal.

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What Are The Dairy Products That You Should Avoid While Pregnant

Dairy products that are not pasteurized can contain listeria monocytogenes, which is a dangerous bacterium that mainly causes infection.

In the case of pregnant women, it should be avoided as they are very susceptible. So be aware. A pregnant woman is very much at the risk of suffering the following as a result of listeriosis such as:

  • Neonatal infection can happen
  • Neonatal death and other issues as such.

Apart from cheese, listeriosis is also found in things like uncooked meat, vegetables, and even processed food.

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Is It Safe To Eat Cooked Cheese

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This is where it gets really interesting. Thoroughly cooking any type of cheese until steaming hot will actually destroy any harmful pathogens that may be present in it. Indeed, most harmful bacteria like Listeria do not survive temperatures above 75°C/165°F.

What does all this mean? Well, if you are desperately missing your favourite soft cheese you can actually cook them to render them safer. Cheeses in this category include even unpasteurised ones such as Brie de Meaux, Camembert de Normandie and Mont dOr.

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Other Pregnancy Eating Tips

Dont eat for two As many as half of women gain too much weight during pregnancy. The upshot: an increased risk for preclampsia, gestational diabetes, and delivery of either a preterm or a too-large baby.

Get adequate iron During pregnancy, your iron needs nearly double, to about 30 milligrams per day, to support your 50 percent increase in blood volume and promote fetal iron storage. Iron transports oxygen, and your baby benefits from a healthy supply. To boost absorption, combine iron-rich foods with vitamin C for example, load your chicken burrito with salsa.

Ban Bacteria Keep your fridge below 40° F, and dump leftover food thats been sitting out for more than two hours.

Trash junk food If you constantly indulge in fries and shakes now, your child might clamor for Dairy Queen in the future, animal research suggests. Somehow a salty, sugary, high-fat, low nutrient diet seems to program a babys taste preference, says Elizabeth Somer, M.A., R.D., author of Nutrition for a Healthy Pregnancy .

Bone up on calcium Aim to get at least 1,000 milligrams a day your baby needs it for tooth and bone development in the second and third trimesters. Plus, if you dont get enough calcium in your diet the fetus will leach it from your bones, which may increase your osteoporosis risk later in life.

What Should You Do If You’ve Eaten Unsafe Cheese

If youve accidentally eaten cheese thats in the unsafe category, try not to worry too much. Instead, keep an eye out for any of the following symptoms.

At first, you may experience a stomach upset and/or diarrhoea. You should contact your doctor to be on the safe side. A simple blood test can confirm the infection and you may require antibiotics.

Be on the lookout for any flu-like symptoms . These symptoms are associated with a more serious infection. However, they can take between 1 and 4 weeks to develop. In some cases, people havent reported symptoms until 70 days after eating contaminated foods.

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List Of Cheeses That Are Unsafe In Pregnancy

The following cheeses are usually classed as soft cheese or mold-ripened cheese and are therefore unsafe for pregnant women to eat if theyre not heated up until hot. Some of these cheeses are also traditionally made with unpasteurized milk, especially if youre eating the cheese in Europe or importing it directly from there.

None of the cheeses on this list are safe in pregnancy unless they are heated or cooked, even if made from pasteurized milk:

  • Burrata . This is only safe if the cream is pasteurized or ultra heat-treated.
  • Camembert unless baked until hot

Which Cheese Is Best To Eat When Pregnant

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If your favorite type of cheese isnt on this list, dont despair. There are still many other types of cheese that you can eat when pregnant. Its just a good idea to avoid any soft cheeses that are unpasteurized and other fresh, unripened ones like feta, goat cheese, brie, camembert, blue-veined varieties and more. If youre looking for some alternatives to Mozzarella cheese , look no further. Here are some ideas:

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Can Pregnant Women Eat Cream Cheese

When it comes to pregnancy, soft cheeses present a number of potential dangers. Cream cheese is not the same as soft cheese, despite the fact that it has a smooth texture and is simple to spread. Pasteurized milk is used in the production of cream cheese this ensures that any potentially harmful bacteria are eliminated during the process of making the cheese.

On the other hand, it is essential to pay careful attention to the date on which the cream cheese or cream cheese spread you have purchased will expire. These products often do not have a very long shelf life when stored in the refrigerator.

Despite the fact that a small amount of cream cheese wont harm you, you still need to limit your consumption of it since it is very high in fat. Pregnancy complications such as gestational diabetes or complications related to abnormal weight gain can occur if a woman consumes too much fat while she is pregnant.

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Can You Eat Mozzarella Cheese While Pregnant

The answer may surprise you: yes, Mozzarella cheese can be one of the many foods eaten by expectant mothers. A common misconception among pregnant women is that soft cheeses are off limits due to their high risk of being contaminated with listeria. However, Mozzarella is not a soft cheese its actually considered a semi-soft cheese and can be safely eaten while pregnant!

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What The Research Says

A pregnancy diet with too much added sugar may have negative effects on your babys growing brain.

In one 2018 study, researchers looked at 1,234 mother-and-child pairs and examined their sugar consumption during pregnancy and in the early childhood years. Babies and young children who were exposed to more sugar tended to score lower on tests that measure cognition.

On a positive note, this same study revealed that fruit consumption actually fed childrens brains. So, if youre enjoying cheesecake , consider topping it with a dose of fresh fruit!

You may not feel sick right away after eating cheesecake made from unsafe ingredients. And not all raw eggs or unpasteurized ingredients will necessarily harbor listeria or other bacteria.

If you do get sick, you can expect symptoms to start within 1 to 4 weeks after eating contaminated foods.

There are a number of symptoms you should be on the lookout for if you have concerns. Most common include fever and diarrhea, which may resemble other types of food poisoning. Mild symptoms may resolve on their own or you may not even realize youre sick.

Invasive listeriosis, on the other hand, is a much more serious illness. It happens when the bad bacteria spreads to other parts of your body through the blood. You may experience flu-like symptoms ranging from muscle aches to fatigue to fever.

Raw Or Undercooked Meat

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Cook all meat and poultry thoroughly so it is steaming hot and there is no trace of pink or blood. Take particular care with poultry, pork, sausages and minced meat, including burgers.

Don’t eat rare meat. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite that can be found in meat, soil, cat faeces and untreated water. If you are pregnant the infection can damage your baby, but it’s important to remember that toxoplasmosis in pregnancy is very rare.

If you feel you may have been at risk, discuss it with your doctor, midwife or obstetrician. If you are infected while you’re pregnant, treatment for toxoplasmosis is available.

Wash all surfaces and utensils thoroughly after preparing raw meat. It’s also important to remember to wash and dry your hands after touching or handling raw meat. This will help to avoid the spread of harmful bugs such as salmonella, campylobacter and E. coli that can cause food poisoning.

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