Can You Eat Feta Cheese in Pregnancy? Can you eat Unpasteurized cheese? What cheese can I eat? Well, it’s not so cut and dry because as most things in life, the choice is personal. Everyone will have a different risk vs reward equation so all we want to do is provide some facts.
“The FDA and other public health entities’ recommendations for cheese consumption during pregnancy fall short in several regards. They are based on out-of-date science, do not correspond to historical outbreak data, fail to define what makes a cheese safe or unsafe, and create confusion through their ambiguity and internal contradictions.” – Jessica Galen
If you’re pregnant or have had a baby in the last 5 years you’ve probably heard mixed messages regarding cheese consumption during pregnancy.
We’re not here to add any more confusion to your brain but we do want to say that blanket prenatal food recommendations shouldn’t be taken so literally because quite frankly no food is absolutely safe or unsafe. If you want to read more about food safety in pregnancy check out this article
Cheese the Data Suggests You Should Avoid During Pregnancy
In a review of recent Listeria outbreaks involving cheese, indications are such that the primary culprits are illegally sold, unpasteurized, “Mexican-Style” cheeses and soft cheeses that were made from pasteurized milk but were contaminated during or after production.
So while we’re not going to provide a list of cheeses you can eat (because that list is long) the data points to Mexican Style soft cheeses being higher risk. Overall the guidelines to food safety for pregnant women are pretty simple. Make sure your cheese is obtained from reputable establishments; stored, handled and cooked properly and consumed in a timely manner.
With that said, we’ll go through some of the more popular cheeses that people have questions about.
Can You Eat Feta Cheese While Pregnant?
Feta cheese is a soft cheese, so is one of those cheese that the CDC still warns theres a risk for pregnant women when they eat them.
Feta cheese that is made from Pasteurized milk is likely safe to eat, as the pasteurization process should kill any harmful bacteria.
Can you Eat Blue Cheese While Pregnant?
Blue cheese is a popular addition to salad or burgers and is known for it’s blueish color and very funky smell and flavor. It is a mold ripened cheese usually made with unpasteurized milk. Because it is so infrequently pasteurized it has a higher risk of bacterial contamination. Cooking the cheese can kill any contamination.
So what about blue cheese dressing? Blue Cheese dressing can still be contaminated because it is usually not pasteurized, if you do want to buy it at a grocery store, look for a pasteurized product.
Can You Eat Goat Cheese While Pregnant?
There are some types of goat cheeses that Pregnant women may want to skip. Surface ripened goat cheese is at a higher risk for listeria than some of it’s hard cheese counter parts. If you can find one that is Pasteurized, opt for that one instead.
There are two types of Goat Cheeses that are lower risk for food poisoining. Pasteurized goat cheese and Hard Goat Cheeses. The hard goat cheese has a low moisture level which makes it less susceptible to bacteria.
With all that said, while the risk of getting listeria is small, 1 in 5,000,000. Some of you may choose to still avoid cheese during pregnancy and that’s fine, but for those of you that don’t want to pass up on the cheeseboard, the risks associated with eating these foods are minimal. Especially if you are choosing pasteurized options.