Cheese during pregnancy

I notice quite a few people, women I assume, searching for ‘cheese during pregnancy’ and ends up at I like that. So to cater for those looking for important information about cheese during their pregnancy, here’s a small notice on a very important topic.

Conventional wisdom has it women should not eat cheese made from raw milk, or unpasteurized cheese if you like, during their pregnancy. That is true, but quite oversimplified. If you are pregnant you should stay away from any soft or semi-soft cheese irrespective of pasteurization or not. That means if you are pregnant, stay away from any soft cheese, bloomy rind cheese, blue cheese and the washed rind cheeses (those with a light red/orange rind), i.e. also the pasteurized ones.

By the way, it is not only cheese you should be careful with during a pregnancy. Talk to your doctor about that. Denmark had an outbreak stemming from smoked salmon last year. Get it?

It is not very likely you will ever catch listeria from eating any cheese really, but the consequences for the fetus is very, very serious if you do. That’s not a risk you should take, however small it is.

Naturally there are more outbreaks of listeria from pasteurized cheese than raw milk cheese, simply because there are so much more pasteurized cheese made in the world. This may sound like outbreaks are frequent, but they are not. In USA there was an outbreak in 2017 from a raw milk washed rind cheese causing two fatalities as far as I know. In 2007 five people died in Norway from having consumed pasteurized Camembert. I’ve written somewhere else, pasteurization protects the milk, not the cheese.

Firm and hard cheeses are not considered representing any risk for catching listeria.
Not much more to say about this.

And remember; a good cup of tea pairs well with cheese.

Read more: Cheese and Listeria

What you eat during pregnancy is your responsibility and yours only. If you are in doubt about anything regarding food and pregnancy, always consult your medical doctor.

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