Pregnant? assumption: v what — everyone is around to tell girlfriend what you can and also can’t eat. And, let’s face it, it’s greatly gonna it is in what girlfriend can’t eat. Alcohol, sushi, cold cuts, and also cantaloupe all acquire the boot for the services of that fetus. And also then it yes, really starts hurting as soon as you gain to that one small word: cheese.

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Cheese? Really? What’s therefore bad about pregnancy and cheese? carry out you actually need to avoid all cheese, as some extremely careful friends have actually been recognized to do? Or is few of the cheese avoidance one unnecessary precaution? Let’s bust the myths and also see what’s true — for you or the pregnant friend craving a slice of Havarti ideal now.

but first: Why is our beloved cheese even a difficulty at all? Like numerous of the other foodstuffs on the watch-out list for pregnant women, cheese has been linked to outbreaks that Listeria monocytogenes, a foodborne microorganism that causes condition that can, at its worst, cause miscarriage, stillbirth, or fatality of a newborn.

and also unlike most food hazards, which are simply as problem if you’re pregnant or not (E. Coli is one equal-opportunity hazard), pregnant women room actually more susceptible to listeria. “Listeria is just one of the few foodborne illnesses the can injury both the pregnant woman and also baby,” claims Dr. Tamika August, a Washington, DC-based OB/GYN. “It’s the most usual of the rare diseases, yet one the can reason the most serious damage.”

For the reason, staying clear of cheese is on her quick list of tips for her patients. Even so, there’s part misinformation out there. Here are five common beliefs — and the real story — about pregnancy and also cheese.

The an initial question to ask before you decide if you deserve to eat a certain cheese is: Is that pasteurized? Pasteurization is the procedure of heating the milk supplied to make cheese at a high temperature long enough to death pathogens, listeria amongst them. Federal regulations point out that part cheese marketed in the U.S. — prefer mozzarella and cottage cheese — can only be made with pasteurized milk, while other varieties do not necessarily need to be made through pasteurized milk.

that being said, it’s not the only question come ask. “Pasteurization does not protect against post-pasteurization air pollution of milk or cheese,” claims Dr. Dennis D’Amico, a professor in the department of pet Science at university of Connecticut. While every cheeses, whether residential or imported, sold in the United says must satisfy FDA security standards, pollution can take place in the handling environment.

At the point, the risk is correlated to the kinds of cheese: High-moisture, low-acidity, and also low-salt cheese (like brie or camembert) are an ext hospitable to bacteria than their low-moisture, higher-acidity, higher-salt counterparts. “I usually tell my patient to continue to be away native the an elaborate cheeses,” claims Dr. August.


While numerous grocery stores bring both pasteurized and unpasteurized cheese, commonwealth regulations need cheesemakers to plainly label the ingredient in their cheese, including specifying whether the milk they offered is pasteurized or unpasteurized. Also, check the period of the cheese: If a cheese is less than 60 job old, it need to be made with pasteurized milk. Larger cheeses have the right to be made with pasteurized or unpasteurized milk (the aging enables for enough time for any kind of potentially harmful bacteria to it is in killed).

“It is necessary to remember the all cheese marketed at the grocery store, pasteurized and unpasteurized, should accomplish FDA food safety and security requirements and guidelines, whether imported or developed domestically. These cheeses deserve to be developed by producers huge or small, local or from much away,” claims Dr. D’Amico.

A caveat: that being said, the rules because that intrastate sales like those at farmers markets have the right to differ by state and also or also by town. That is possible that cheeses sold at these markets were created without the benefit of FDA oversight and interstate regulation — so it’s ideal to prevent them, because that now.

Unfortunately, cheeses contaminated with pathogens, specifically Listeria monocytogenes, do not present signs that spoilage. Listeria symptom are similar to flu symptoms: nausea, vomiting, fever, muscle aches, and the like. Yet symptoms of listeriosis don’t present up immediately; in fact, it have the right to take from 2 to 60 days after exposure because that these symptoms to present up.

If you have actually these symptoms, contact your health care provider ideal away; lock can give you a blood test to identify if you’re suffering from listeriosis or another less-worrisome ailment.

The CDC has found that spain women space 24 times much more likely than the general population to obtain a listeria infection. For the reason, lock recommend staying clear of Mexican-style cheeses prefer queso fresco, queso blanco, queso blando, queso cotija, queso panela, queso ranchero, and also cuajada en terrón.

“The main worry related to part Mexican-style cheeses like queso fresco is that this layout of cheese is frequently high in moisture, low in acidity, and can be low in salt. These conditions are comparatively more hospitable to microbial expansion if pollution does occur,” says Dr. D’Amico.

Cheese safety and security is much more linked come the style of cheese together opposed come the type of milk used. “All rather being equal, harder cheese are less supportive of virus growth and survival,” claims Dr. D’Amico. In general, hard or firm cheeses made through pasteurized milk are less likely to allow for the expansion of unwanted bacteria.

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therefore if friend can’t imagine every those months without cheese, look because that cheeses choose Swiss, Gouda, Parmesan, and also provolone made v pasteurized milk.

Ayn-Monique Klahre


Ayn-Monique is a lifestyle editor and writer who"s operated for good Housekeeping, Woman"s Day, FamilyFun and more. She loves lattes, jogging and hanging the end at the playground through her husband and also daughters.