What Cheese Should You Avoid When Pregnant

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Listeriosis Due To Cheese Cravings

Cheese During Pregnancy: Safe or Not? | Parents

Intake of contaminated or unpasteurized cheese can cause listeriosis in pregnant women. Thus, one needs to be very careful while selecting cheese as it is hard to identify infected cheese because it lacks any distinct taste or smell. In pregnant women chances of infection are fairly high when compared to non-pregnant women. Listeriosis can harm the baby by increasing the chances of miscarriage or severe illness or even stillbirth of the baby. But if detected early, treatment through antibiotics help in preventing serious complications in a pregnant woman.

Avoid Unpasteurized Milk And Soft Cheese

Milk and cheese are excellent sources of calcium, which you and your babies need. But raw milk and soft cheeses may harbor bacteria that can make you, and your baby, sick. Raw milk may contain Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, or Salmonella, which cause food poisoning. Since you’re pregnant, you’re more likely to get sick because pregnancy affects your immune system.

  • Drink pasteurized milk, or choose non-dairy forms of calcium.
  • Avoid soft cheese like Brie, Camembert, Roquefort, queso blanco, queso fresco, and feta.
  • It’s okay to eat cheese that’s made from pasteurized milk.

Dont Drink Unpasteurized Juice Or Cider

Unpasteurized juice, even fresh-squeezed juice, and cider can cause foodborne illness. These beverages have been linked to outbreaks caused by E. coli and other harmful germs. To prevent infection, either choose a pasteurized version or bring unpasteurized juice or cider to a rolling boil and boil for at least 1 minute before drinking.

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Goat Cheese Made From Pasteurized Milk

When milk undergoes this process it kills off a great deal of the bacteria, mold, and other things that are naturally found in milk.

Because of this, the chances of contracting an illness from this goats cheese while pregnant are very low. Its important to note that you still should avoid soft-ripened goats cheese even if it is made from pasteurized goats milk.

Can I Drink Alcohol While Pregnant

10 Foods You Should Avoid Eating While Pregnant

The recommendations about drinking during pregnancy vary by country and culture. In the UK, moms-to-be are advised to have less than one to two drinks a week, only after the first trimester, and to never get drunk. In Canada, the official medical stance is that no alcohol is safe to drink during pregnancy, and theres no safe time or trimester to imbibe. While some women are comfortable having the odd glass of wine, as is often accepted in Europe, experts in Canada say no amount of booze is safe.

As you prepare to welcome your wee one into the world, chances are youre going to accidentally eat something considered questionable or unsafe. Dont agonizejust relax, learn from it and be smart going forward.

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Certain Kinds Of Fish

Most types of fish are safe to eat during pregnancy. However, the consumption of certain types should be limited and others avoided altogether.

  • Shark, swordfish and marlin should be avoided completely as they contain high levels of mercury.
  • Tuna consumption should be limited to two steaks or four medium tins per week.
  • Oily fish should be limited to two servings per week because it contains pollutants such as dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls . This is not thought to pose a risk to the developing baby if only two servings per week are consumed.

Raw Or Undercooked Meat

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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Certain Types Of Food Items

You may avoid eating certain types of food during your pregnancy. Let us have a look at these food items.

  • Fish with a high level of mercury in it. Some of the fishes like mackerel, sharks and even swordfish have high levels of mercury in them. According to a report conducted by the March of Dimes, high levels of mercury may be fatal for your foetus. It might even result in hearing problems, vision problems, and brain damage to the unborn child.
  • Unpasteurised Dairy and Unpasteurised dairy and juice might contain a bacteria called Listeria. Once the listeria reaches the foetus by crossing the placenta, it may cause deadly effects for the growing baby. Some of the other bacteria present in unpasteurised juice and dairy might even lead to food poisoning.
  • Raw eggs. Pregnant ladies should avoid eating any food that might contain raw eggs. These food items may include homemade Caesar salad dressing or unbaked cookie dough. The reason behind not eating raw eggs is because they contain salmonella.
  • Soft cheese. You may avoid eating soft cheese, like feta, queso Blanco, brie, etc. Some of the soft cheese might consist of unpasteurised dairy.
  • Deli salads and meat. Deli meats and pre-made salads like chicken salads might even be fatal for your foetus. This is because such food items might contain listeria in them. Listeria is a bacteria that may prove to be harmful to the baby if it passes through the placenta.
  • Here is an indepth article by food safety on pregnant women.

    Foods To Avoid While Pregnant

    True or False: Pregnant women should avoid all soft cheeses

    Raw Meat: Uncooked seafood and rare or undercooked beef or poultry should be avoided during pregnancy because of the risk of contamination with coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella. At home, the temperature should reach at least 145 F for whole cuts, 160 F for ground meats like hamburger, and 165 F for chicken breasts.

    Deli Meat: Deli meats have been known to be contaminated with listeria, which can cause miscarriage. Listeria has the ability to cross the placenta and may infect the baby, which could lead to infection or blood poisoning and may be life-threatening. If you are pregnant and you are considering eating deli meats, make certain that you reheat the meat until it is steaming.

    Fish with Mercury: Fish that contain high levels of mercury should be avoided. Mercury consumed during pregnancy has been linked to developmental delays and brain damage. A sample of these types of fish includes shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Canned, chunk light tuna generally has a lower amount of mercury than other tuna, but still should only be eaten in moderation. The American Pregnancy Association recommends Safe Catch Tuna because their testing technology ensures each can of tuna is as pure as wild salmon or wild sardines.

    Certain types of fish used in sushi should also be avoided due to high levels of mercury. Please see Mercury in Fish for specific types of fish and further information on how to calculate mercury levels.

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    What Cheeses Can You Eat While Pregnant

    When you are pregnant you can consume all hard pasteurized cheeses which include cheddar, stilton, and parmesan. You can also safely eat soft cheeses that are pasteurized such as cottage cheese, mozzarella, feta, cream cheese, paneer, ricotta, and halloumi.

    As well as those pasteurized cheeses you can also safely eat soft unpasteurized cheese as long as they are cooked until they are steaming hot.

    Can You Eat Goats Cheese When Pregnant

    Some types of goats cheese are fine to eat during pregnancy, as long as theyre made from pasteurised milk. However, chèvre and other soft goats cheese should be avoided during pregnancy as they can contain higher levels of listeria. Cooked goats cheese is safe to eat as cooking the cheese will kill any harmful bacteria.

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    What Cant You Eat While Pregnant

    11 Foods and Drinks to Stay Away From While Pregnant

    • Fish with a lot of mercury. Mercury is an extremely poisonous substance.
    • Raw or undercooked fish Raw seafood, particularly shellfish, may spread a variety of diseases.
    • Meat that has been undercooked, raw, or processed.
    • Eggs that are still raw.
    • Meat from the organs.
    • Sprouts in their natural state.
    • Produce that hasnt been washed.

    Tips To Prevent Listeriosis

    Can You Eat Cottage Cheese When Pregnant?

    Cooking helps in killing listeria bacterium but these are resilient. These can grow back easily in the refrigerator or freezer. Following are some tips to prevent listeriosis during pregnancy :

    • Avoiding soft cheese during pregnancy.
    • If soft cheese is to be used, it should be cooked well and consumed immediately after cooking.
    • The use of pasteurized dairy products is recommended.
    • Maintenance of hygiene during storing food in the refrigerator.

    The pregnant woman should be careful when it comes to eating cheese. Only hard cheese is recommended to be consumed during pregnancy. Soft cheese consumption should be prohibited during pregnancy because it can bring upon various adverse effects on the baby.

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    Why Are Pregnant Women Told To Avoid Feta Cheese

    I love to eat cheese but I’m pregnant. And I know that there are some cheeses that pregnant women shouldn’t eat. Which ones should I avoid? Louise

    Soft, unpasteurized cheeses like feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined cheeses, and goat as well as ready-to-eat meats like hot dogs and deli meats may contain Listeria, bacteria that cause mild flu-like symptoms in most adults but can be very dangerous for unborn babies. Listeriosis, the infection caused by the bacteria, can cause miscarriage, premature birth, or severe illness or death of a newborn.

    When made from pasteurized milk, most soft cheeses are considered safe to eat during pregnancy. That goes for other cheeses made from pasteurized milk too, such as cheddar, American, cottage, and cream cheeses. Hard cheeses are generally considered safe in pregnancy.

    Whatever you buy, always make sure the label says “pasteurized” on it, and talk to your doctor if you aren’t sure about a certain cheese.

    What Should I Avoid During First Trimester

    What Should I Avoid During My First Trimester? Avoid smoking and e-cigarettes. Avoid alcohol. Avoid raw or undercooked meat and eggs. Avoid raw sprouts. Avoid certain seafood. Avoid unpasteurized dairy products and unpasteurized juices. Avoid processed meats such as hot dogs and deli meats. Avoid too much caffeine.

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    Avoid Undercooked Meat And Poultry

    All meat and poultry should be thoroughly cooked before eating. A food thermometer should be used to ensure that the meat has reached the USDA-recommended safe minimum internal temperature. Visit minimum cooking temperatures for specific details.

    Following the minimum recommend internal temperature is important because meat and poultry may contain E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter, or Toxoplasma gondii.

    CDC recommends the following preventive measures to reduce the risk of contracting toxoplasmosis from eating meat:

    • Cook meat to the USDA-recommended minimum safe internal temperature.
    • Freeze meat for several days at sub-zero temperatures before cooking to greatly reduce chance of infection.
    • Wash cutting boards, dishes, counters and utensils with hot, soapy water after contact with raw meat, poultry, seafood, or unwashed fruits or vegetables.
    • Wash hands with soap and water.

    Does Spicy Food Cause Miscarriage

    What foods should I avoid during pregnancy?

    Can they cause miscarriage? One of the main reasons that women avoid spicy foods during pregnancy is that there is a rumour that they can cause miscarriages. Although you may read this in blogs, there is no evidence to suggest that eating spicy foods during pregnancy can cause miscarriages.

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    What Is Fontina Cheese

    Fontina is traditionally an Italian cheese made from cows milk and it has a soft mild flavor. Fontina cheese is traditionally made from unpasteurized milk and has a texture that is semi-hard, smooth and has many small holes in the body.

    Although traditionally Italian, there are also Danish, and Swedish versions of this cheese yet all are characterized by their waxy rind and sweet-savory flavor.

    What Are The First Signs Of Listeria

    What are the symptoms of listeriosis? Listeriosis can cause mild, flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, muscle aches, and diarrhea or upset stomach. You also may have a stiff neck, headache, confusion, or loss of balance. Symptoms may appear as late as 2 months after you have eaten something with Listeria.

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    What Do I Need To Know When Defrosting Food

    You should:

    • a sealed bag or container submerged in cold water
  • if you use the microwave, cook it immediately after thawing it
  • defrost larger pieces of meat in its original wrapping and submerge it in cold water
  • change the water often to make sure that it stays cold
  • do not refreeze thawed food
  • You cannot always tell if food is safe by its look, smell or taste. When in doubt, throw it out!

    Food And Drinks To Avoid In Pregnancy


    There are some foods to avoid or take care with when you’re pregnant as they might make you ill or harm your baby.

    These include:

    • unpasteurised dairy – pasteurisation kills bacteria in milk through heating
    • cheeses such as brie and camembert
    • blue cheeses such as Danish blue, Gorgonzola and Roquefort
    • pâté
    • foods made with raw or under-cooked eggs, such as homemade mayonnaise
    • raw or under-cooked meat
    • cold cured meats such as salami, parma ham, chorizo and pepperoni
    • liver – including liver sausage, haggis and pâté containing liver
    • shark, swordfish, and marlin
    • limit tuna to one 150g cooked weight fresh tuna steak or two 240g cans – 140g drained weight – per week
    • raw fish
    • soft-serve ice cream

    Food products that are not pasteurised, or are mould-ripened, may contain bacteria that is dangerous for your baby, such as listeria.

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    Can I Eat Ice Cream While Pregnant

    While pregnant women should avoid homemade ice cream , store-bought ice cream is generally safe. You may have read about a few listeriosis outbreaks linked to improperly sanitized soft-serve machines, but the risk is extremely low, and it doesnt mean you have to avoid this common pregnancy craving altogether.

    Read more:

    Is Feta Cheese Safe During Pregnancy

    Yep, feta cheese is safe, as long as it is pasteurized.

    With feta cheese, the problem is a bacteria called listeria. This can cause listeriosis a very severe food poisoning. Listeriosis is incredibly rare. There are only about 1,600 cases recorded across the entire U.S. every year, but it can lead to hospitalization and in very rare cases, even death.

    Listeria can particularly affect people with lowered immune systems for example, the very young, the very old, and the immunocompromised. Unfortunately, since your immune system is weaker during pregnancy to stop your body from attacking your little peanut, as a mama-to-be, you also fall into this category.

    Most outbreaks of listeria can usually be traced back to deli meats, unwashed produce, or soft unpasteurized cheeses. In certain cases, this can include feta.

    But, thanks to the wonders of pasteurization , most soft cheeses available in supermarkets and restaurants today including that delicious feta have been safely cleared of listeria, which means they dont have to be completely off your menu.

    Its just a question of being aware.

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    Varieties Of Cheese To Eat

    The unsafe cheeses are usually made from raw and unpasteurised milk which tend to have a higher concentration of listeria bacterium. If you do not know which milk the cheese has been made from, then it is best to refrain from consuming it. Here are some of the different varieties of cheese to eat and to avoid when pregnant.

    Safe Food Alternatives For Pregnant Women

    Foods to Avoid when Pregnant

    Some types of food can be a higher risk for pregnant women because of how they are produced and stored. To lower your chances of getting food poisoning, you should avoid those foods. The following chart can help you make safer food choices.

    Safe food alternatives for pregnant women

    Type of food
    Unpasteurized fruit juice and cider. Unpasteurized fruit juice and cider that are brought to a rolling boil and cooled. Pasteurized fruit juice and cider.

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    Is It Ok To Consume Mayonnaise When Pregnant

    Mayonnaise, ice cream, and salad dressing sold in stores are usually prepared using pasteurized eggs, making them safe to consume. However, if the homemade version contains raw egg, its best to avoid it. If you have any questions regarding any of these items when dining out, ask the wait staff for clarification.

    Types Of Cheese To Avoid During Pregnancy

    When youre pregnant, everything you eat will affect the baby. So its important to be careful! Sure, its tempting to scarf everything down. But you should always avoid mold-ripened soft cheese made with unpasteurized milk.

    Since these kinds of cheese have high water content, they can be contaminated with the harmful bacteria Listeria. Theyre also less acidic than hard cheese, so its easy for bacteria to grow. Plus, if its made with unpasteurized milk, there isnt an extra step to kill bacteria.1

    Listeria causes an infection called listeriosis, a type of food poisoning. Its also the third most common cause of death from a foodborne illness in the United States.2

    Since pregnant women are 10 times more likely to catch Listeria, it pays to be cautious. The infection is linked to miscarriages, preterm labor, sickness, and even newborn death.

    Protect yourself and your baby by knowing these 8 soft kinds of cheese to avoid during pregnancy.

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