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Feta Cheese While Pregnant | Should you avoid it

According to the FDA, since feta cheese is made of milk that is pasteurized, a process that kills harmful bacteria, eating it while you are pregnant is safe. However, before knowing how to eat feta cheese during pregnancy, it is important to consider eating it if you really know that it has been made from pasteurized milk.

Can pregnant women eat feta cheese? Let’s see it in the following blog post crafted by A Date With Baby.

feta cheese during pregnancy

Is feta cheese safe during pregnancy?

Feta Cheese and Pregnancy

What happens if you eat feta cheese while pregnant?

Eating feta while pregnant is safe as long as you know that the cheese, or any other soft cheese, is made of pasteurized milk which prevents milk from containing a harmful bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes. When you are pregnant, all soft cheese made from pasteurized milk is considered safe for consumption, according to the information on the Kids Health website.

Listeria monocytogenes is one of the harmful bacterias that can harm your unborn baby.

In general, certain types of animal products, such as dairy, meat products, and sometimes plants, can often contain Listeria monocytogenes. Therefore, even celery can be contaminated with these bacteria.

Furthermore, cold cuts and hot dogs can also be one of the sources of Listeria monocytogenes.

Since there are, generally, no symptoms of carrying the bacteria among animals, farmers oftentimes do not detect or treat it. Therefore, any products, such as dairy or meat, that come from the infected animal, can still be infectious. 

In addition, since the bacteria itself keeps growing even at refrigeration temperature, there is no way to stop it from growing or killing it while keeping the food in the refrigerator.

Furthermore, even if you do purchase fresh cheese which appears to be totally normal and smells fine, there is no way that you can figure out whether the cheese actually contains the bacteria with a naked eye. 

Cheese containing this bacteria will also have no indication of this with taste, and one can consume the cheese without the slightest clue that it does indeed contain Listeria monocytogenes. 

Having said that, it does not mean that everyone eating feta cheese containing Listeria will get sick. However,  it is still very harmful to women who are pregnant and as well as individuals over the age of 65, with a weaker immune system. 

How to eat Feta cheese while pregnant?

Can you eat feta cheese while pregnant?

Is feta pasteurized? The first thing you need to make sure that the cheese you purchase is made from pasteurized milk. The pasteurization process eliminates all the harmful bacterias, including listeria, which otherwise could injure the mother and baby. 

However, if made from unpasteurized milk, feta cheese can be still cooked and prepared to decrease levels of harmful bacteria. Ohio State University states that a minimum of 2 minutes is needed to eliminate listeria bacteria within a cheese while cooking it in a dish at a temperature of 158 Fahrenheit.

When you prepare a dish, you can easily check the temperature using a meat thermometer inserted into different points. You need to make sure that the food you prepare reaches the temperature stated above.

Also, feta cheese can be melted by placing it into a double boiler. Making a double boiler is very easy. All you need is to have a large glass bowl placed over a pot of boiling water. The important thing to make sure that the bowl does not touch the boiling water.

The feta cheese placed in the glass bowl will melt from the heat generated from the steam. You can keep melting the cheese until it has reached 158 degrees Fahrenheit. You can then use the melted cheese for your omelets or vegetables as a dip.

What Is Unpasteurized Cheese In General?

Unpasteurized cheese, commonly referred to as raw milk cheese, is manufactured from unpasteurized milk. Pasteurization happens during the cheesemaking procedure when milk is heated at the start of the process to kill germs that might cause illness or spoilage. Pasteurizing milk, some claim, not only kills potentially hazardous germs but also kills the fragrances and tastes that make superb cheese.

Unpasteurized (raw) milk cheese cannot be marketed in the United States unless it’s been stored for at least 2 months. The Food and Drug Administration is in charge of this. The acids and salts in raw-milk cheese, as well as the maturing process, are thought to naturally inhibit listeria, salmonella, E. coli, and other hazardous organisms from forming beyond 60 days.

What Cheese To Avoid When Pregnant?

Mold-ripened soft cheeses like brie, camembert, and chevre (a kind of goat’s cheese), as well as others with a similar rind, should be avoided. Soft blue-veined cheeses, such as Danish blue or gorgonzola, should also be avoided. These are manufactured with mold and may contain listeria, a germ that may damage an unborn child.

Although listeria infection (listeriosis) is uncommon, particular measures should be taken during pregnancy since even a minor form of the sickness in a pregnant woman may result in miscarriage, stillbirth, or serious sickness in the newborn infant.

Cheese to avoid during pregnancy:

In general, as a pregnant mother, you need to avoid eating the following cheese types:

  • Brie
  • Camembert
  • feta
  • Roquefort
  • queso fresco
  • queso Blanco
  • panela

Look at the labels to check whether the cheese you’re buying is produced from pasteurized milk. If the information on the box is confusing, consult a shop representative before making a purchase. And if you’re unsure, go with something different.

Can You Eat Goats Cheese When Pregnant?

Most hard goat cheeses, as well as soft goat cheeses prepared from pasteurized milk, are generally considered safe for pregnant women – as long as they aren’t surface-ripened.

The look of a hard goat cheese distinguishes it from a soft kind. When you push hard cheese with your finger, it will not imprint, however soft cheese will. Whether you read the ingredients of cheese, you can determine if it has been pasteurized.

When should you avoid eating feta cheese?

In terms of feta cheese pregnancy, expectant mothers should avoid it, if they are not certain that the factory making the cheese meets all sanitary conditions. Because, according to the trusted sources, even if the milk has been pasteurized, it still might contain bacteria if the factory producing the cheese does not meet sanitary conditions.

What are the risks of eating unpasteurized cheese for pregnant women?

The Listeria bacteria can cause pregnant women to have a harmful condition called listeriosis which is very dangerous. CDS states that it is one of the major reasons for death caused by foodborne illness.

In addition, the condition is particularly dangerous during pregnancy, since listeriosis can become a reason for a miscarriage in the first trimester. Also, there is also a risk of premature birth in the later stages of pregnancy which can be associated with quite a few health conditions.

What cheese can you eat when pregnant?

Eating a cheese that is prepared from unpasteurized carries many risks, therefore, if you can it is best to avoid eating it while being pregnant.  

The list of safe cheeses during pregnancy:

  • Processed, soft cheeses that are made of pasteurized ingredients
  • Hard cheeses that include the following: cheddar, parmesan, Emmental, caerphilly, manchego, Lancashire, Edam, Orkney and etc.

Soft Cheese During Pregnancy

Oftentimes, precooked meats and as well as soft cheeses are mainly considered harmful for pregnant women, since they tend to contain the germ. However, according to FDA, if a soft cheese is made of pasteurized milk then it poses no risk for expectant mothers.

Soft, unpasteurized cheeses such as feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined cheeses, and goat, as well as ready-to-eat meats such as hot dogs and deli meats, may carry Listeria, a bacterium that causes mild flu-like conditions in most people but may be dangerous to unborn infants.

Listeriosis, a bacterial infection, may result in miscarriage, preterm delivery, serious sickness, or death in a baby.

Certain soft cheeses produced from pasteurized milk are deemed safe to consume during pregnancy. Other pasteurized milk cheeses, such as cheddar, American, cottage, and cream cheeses, are also affected. In general, hard cheeses are generally safe during pregnancy.

Carefully check the label to see whether it says “pasteurized,” and see your doctor if you’re unsure about a particular cheese.

Can You Eat Brie While Pregnant

Mold-ripened soft cheeses (cheeses with a white rind), such as brie and camembert, should be avoided during pregnancy. Certain soft goats’ cheeses, such as chevre, also fall under this category. Cooked cheeses are the only ones that are safe to consume during pregnancy.

Soft blue-veined cheeses like Danish blue, gorgonzola, and Roquefort should also be avoided. Cooked soft blue cheeses are the only ones that are acceptable to consume during pregnancy.

Some soft cheeses are recommended for pregnant women to avoid because they are less acidic than hard cheeses and contain more moisture, making them a perfect habitat for dangerous bacteria like listeria to thrive.

Although listeria infection (listeriosis) is uncommon, extra care should be taken during pregnancy since even a minor form of the disease in a pregnant woman may result in miscarriage, stillbirth, or serious illness in a newborn infant.

Can I Eat Cheesecake While Pregnant

Cheesecake is safe to consume during pregnancy. Simply verify that your cake is prepared with pasteurized ingredients by checking the label when purchasing or eating out.

If you’re cooking cheesecake at home, use pasteurized ingredients and thoroughly cook the eggs. If you’re still worried, try non-dairy alternatives for a tasty treat with a reduced risk of food poisoning.

Cheesecake may be made in a number of ways. Baking is used in several ways. Others can be prepared fast without the need to cook. You can also use almonds or vegan cream cheese to create non-dairy versions.

List of Safe Cheese During Pregnancy

  • Cheddar
  •  Swiss
  •  Gouda
  •  Parmesan
  •  Brick
  •  Emmental
  •  Provolone
  •  Pasteurized mozzarella
  •  Havarti
  •  Processed cheese
  •  Cottage cheese
  •  Cream cheese

Can Pregnant Women Eat Sour Cream

You may want to replace sour cream with plain Greek yogurt, which has a similar flavor and texture to sour cream but has far more nutritive benefits since it contains protein and calcium.

Sour cream and other pasteurized dairy products are completely safe to eat during pregnancy. While selecting a product, check for the term “pasteurized” on the label and store it in the refrigerator at a cool temperature. It’s critical to keep track of expiry dates and eat sour cream by the date specified on the package.

Can Pregnant Women Eat Blue Cheese?

Since blue cheeses are often made of unpasteurized milk, it increases your risk of Listeria poisoning, which is extremely dangerous for your unborn baby. Therefore, as a pregnant mother, you’d best avoid blue cheese or similar products.

Can You Eat Cream Cheese?

Since cream cheese is made of pasteurized dairy, it’s considered safe for pregnant women. However, you still need to pay close attention to its expiry date and as well as read the ingredients when you purchase. 

The good news is that in Canada, as in most developed countries, all milk and milk products sold in supermarkets have to be pasteurized. The risk then comes from sources of cheeses and dairy products purchased from the local farmer or farmer’s market.  However, there too, almost all dairy products will be pasteurized, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Also, if you are traveling, especially to a more exotic location, be sure to check this before consuming any dairy.

Cream Cheese While Pregnant

Cream cheese is often prepared using cream, however, it may also be manufactured using a combination of cream and milk. Pasteurization means the process of heating cream or milk to temperatures that destroy germs (bad bacteria) and render it safe for ingestion. It’s then curdled, generally with the addition of lactic acid bacteria (the “good” bacteria).

Cream cheese is safe to consume during pregnancy since it is manufactured from pasteurized milk, which is safe to consume during pregnancy. Furthermore, cream cheese is a cheese spread, not a soft cheese, which is a significant distinction.

Blue Cheese While Pregnant

Instead, because most blue cheese is made with unpasteurized milk, it carries a higher risk of contamination with Listeria monocytogenes.  This bacterium can cause listeriosis, a foodborne illness that presents much like the flu or stomach bug.

Some of the most common listeriosis symptoms in pregnant women are fever, aches and pains, digestive upset, and headaches. More severe symptoms include stiff neck, confusion, convulsions, and loss of balance. This may be a sign that Listeria has entered into the mother’s nervous system, where it can cause bacterial meningitis, or inflammation around the brain and spinal cord.

Manchego Cheese Pregnant

Manchego is a semi-soft cheese with a characteristic herringbone peel and a sweet flavor. Fruit and nut symphonic notes reverberate in clear harmony, with zesty undertones of piquancy. Aromas of dried herbs marinade the interior in dramatic differences, produced by the interlaced mold of grass that is particular to Manchego. Most hard cheeses, including manchego, Emmental, and gruyere, are safe to consume during pregnancy.

So in conclusion, if you still want to consume feta or other soft cheeses, make sure that the product is pasteurized and made by a trusted company.

FAQ

Yes, as long as it is pasteurised, feta cheese is safe. The bacterium listeria is the source of the issue in feta cheese. This may lead to listeriosis, which is an extremely serious form of food poisoning.

All you have to do now is cook it. And, fortunately for us all, feta is also delicious when cooked! You can simply include feta into pizza toppings, tarts, and quiches, or bake it whole in the oven. You may consider your feta listeria-free if the interior temperature hits 75 degrees Celsius, according to the NSW Food Authority.

Unpasteurized cheeses and meats like hot dogs and deli meats may carry Listeria, a bacterium that may produce mild flu-like symptoms in most people but can be very harmful for pregnant infants, especially those who are breastfeeding.

Because Listeria and other foodborne pathogens may cause miscarriage, pregnant women should avoid eating soft cheeses, such as queso fresco, unless they have been pasteurised. To destroy dangerous germs like Listeria, milk must be heated above body temperature for an extended period of time.

Yes, if properly pasteurized. Nearly all fresh (unaged, rindless) cheese in the United States is pasteurized, including mozzarella, fresh goat cheese/chèvre, ricotta, and feta. Soft and creamy spreadable cheeses account for 99 percent of all pasteurized cheeses.

Despite the fact that certain hard cheeses like cheddar, parmesan, and stilton are created from unpasteurized milk, you may still consume them. In comparison to soft cheeses, hard cheeses have a lower water content, making them less hospitable to germs. Pasteurized milk is required for the majority of other forms of cheese you may consume.

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