Is it safe to eat cheese whilst pregnant? Unfortunately the short answer to this is that it totally depends on the cheese itself. Manyof the UK’s favourite cheeses like Cheddars are absolutely safe to eat during pregnancy (seeour favourite 6 pregnancy safe cheeses at the bottom of this blog) however there are alsomany others that could pose a risk to you or your baby. I’ve put this blog together to helpyou navigate your cheesey cravings in the safest way possible.
Unfortunately not all cheeses are safe to consume whilst pregnant. We speak to lots of soon-to-be parents in the shop or on social media who think that because they’re pregnant all cheese is off the (cheese) table or that they have to settle for vegan or lactose free alternatives which might not pack the same flavour punch – so I’ve written this blog for pregnant Mum’s everywhere to help them to enjoy cheese safely whilst pregnant. In the blog below I explore some of the best (and safest) cheeses to eat whilst pregnant as well as those that, as an expectant mother, you should avoid at all costs!
Why are some cheeses dangerous to eat when pregnant?
Certain types of soft, semi-soft and blue cheeses can contain the Listeria monocytogenebacteria which can cause Listeriosis, which, even in it’s mildest form can lead to complications in pregnancy. Thankfully infection with Listeria very rarely causes problems amongst the healthy hence why soft cheeses and those with a higher potential to carry Listeria are perfectly safe to eat for those with strong immune systems.
Which cheese should I avoid when pregnant?
Soft cheeses, with natural rinds like Brie or soft goat’s cheeses are unfortunately not pregnancy safe and should therefore not be eaten, even in tiny quantities when pregnant.The nature of these high moisture cheeses creates an environment in which Listeria can flourish easily.Semi-soft cheeses (like Camembert, Morbier & Tomme) especially where the cheese is young and high in moisture should also be avoided during pregnancy.Blue cheeses and anything mould-ripened, like Ash Pyramids, Selles Sur Cher, St Mau should also be avoided.
What types of cheese are pregnancy safe?
Hard-cheeses like cheddar, Red Leicester, Manchego and Parmigiano are typically safe to eat when pregnant due mostly to their low moisture content which makes it difficult for Listeria to breed.
Some soft cheeses like Mozzarella, Paneer, Ricotta, Feta and Halloumi are also safe provided they made from pasteurised milk! But please remember to never eat the rind of the cheese when pregnant!
6 pregnancy safe cheeses
Pregnancy safe Cheddars
As we’ve already seen above, hard-cheese are great for expectant mothers and one of the most ‘pregnancy safe’ types of cheese you can find is a Cheddar. Below I’ve listed 5 delicious cheddars that you can find in most good cheese-shops, that are absolutely safe for you to enjoy during pregnancy
Black Bomber Cheddar – a creamy, moreish Welsh Cheddar that’s a real favourite with ourregulars in the shop
Montgomery’s Cheddar – a multiple award-winning, traditional, farm-house cheddar from Somerset
Lincolnshire Poacher – a strong, sharp, hard English cheese from Lincolnshire
Godminster Cheddar – Somerset’s finest creamy cheddar
Pregnancy Safe Semi-Hard cheeses
Cornish Yarg isn’t as popular as some of the cheddars I’ve mentioned above however it’s an absolute crowd pleaser and something I recommend to all my customers when they’re looking for something new and different to put on their cheese board. Yarg is matured andserved wrapped in nettles, giving it a natural protection from the environment, and is absolutely pregnancy safe,Cornish Yarg
Pregnancy safe hard cheeses
Finally, an all-time classic, Parmigiano Reggiano – a granular-hard cheese most known for being grated over our favourite pasta dishes in our local Italian restaurants. Parmigiano represents a great, pregnancy safe, option for those looking for some melty cheesey goodness!
Finally, I wanted to finish this off by saying if you’re not sure whether a cheese is pregnancy safe or not it’s better to be safe than sorry. Please feel free to pop into the shop any time or send us a message through the website if you need any more help in selecting cheeses,whether pregnancy safe or otherwise.