All cheese is made in various ways, as well as certain bacterias and moulds present to help it taste a certain way and develop a particular texture. In this article, we look at what cheese can you eat when pregnant?
What Cheese can I Eat when Pregnant?
It is recommended for pregnant women to eat pasteurised cheese only. This is because some unpasteurised cheese MAY contain harmful bacteria and microorganisms such as E-coli, salmonella or Listeria. Examples of pasteurised cheese include cheddar, manchego, gouda and variations of parmesan. Also, some Swiss cheese may be pasteurised, such as Emmental or Gruyere.
What is Pasteurised Cheese?
Pasteurised cheese occurs at the early stages of the cheese-making process. It involves heating the milk to 70℃, and then rapidly cooling it. This helps to remove the harmful bacteria in the milk before it is turned into cheese.
What is Listeria?
Listeria is a form of bacteria that thrives and grows in cool temperatures, such as milk. Heating the milk pasteurises it, and the bacteria can no longer grow in the heat, and therefore it is removed. Of course, it may not all be removed, however pasteurising does decrease the risk of bacteria being present.
Listeria is a bacteria linked to food poisoning, that may cause harm to yourself or the unborn baby.
What Cheese can I Eat?
Ideally, hard cheeses are the best cheese to eat when pregnant. Examples include manchego, Gruyere or Emmental, as well as cheddar and parmesan if they are pasteurised versions.
Unpasteurised versions of cheddar and parmesan are also okay to eat. This is because they are hardstyle cheeses and therefore have a reduced water content, and therefore there are less ideal conditions for the bacteria to grow.
If you are craving soft cheese, fresh cheese is best. Cheese such as mozzarella and ricotta, which do not have moulds added to them during the cheese-making process.
What Cheese Should I Avoid?
Typically, it is best to avoid white mould cheese (for example Brie and Camembert) and Blue cheese. This is because they have certain moulds added to them during cheese making to ensure they ripen in a particular way and develop certain flavours. Some of these moulds can be harmful and therefore it is best to avoid these cheeses.