Suddenly Parents

Keeping Our Sanity During Baby's First Year

Say Cheese!

You look delicious!

I read that you shouldn’t eat soft, unpasteurized cheese but since I didn’t read too closely on what types of cheeses those are, I’ve ignored this rule for the most part. I don’t eat a lot of cheese anyway because I love it so much. I could eat a whole block in one sitting so I tend not to keep it in the house. Plus, cheese is not allowed on our Paleo diet. But we do give ourselves 2 cheat days a week and I do love cheese so I thought I better see what all the fuss is about.

The rule is that if the cheese is made from pasteurized milk, it’s fine. But if it is made with raw (unpasteurized) milk, it’s not safe to eat or drink during pregnancy.

The following is from an article on BabyCenter:

Most cheese sold in the United States – including soft cheese – is made with pasteurized milk and is therefore considered safe to eat. But some cheese made from raw milk also shows up on store shelves and at farmer’s markets, so it’s best to check the label before eating any.

Soft cheeses most likely to be made from raw milk include feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined cheese like Roquefort and gorgonzola, and Mexican-style cheese like queso blanco, queso fresco, and panela.

Raw milk and the food made from it can carry disease-causing organisms, including a bacterium called Listeria monocytogenes. (Dairy products made from pasteurized milk, on the other hand, have a very low risk of contamination.)

Listeriosis (the infection caused by Listeria) is relatively rare. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that it affects 2,500 people in the United States each year. But pregnant women are particularly susceptible, and the infection can be devastating and even deadly for unborn babies.

The CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) all recommend that pregnant women not eat foods made with unpasteurized milk. Raw milk soft cheeses are mentioned specifically because they’ve been linked to cases of listeriosis.

So, basically, all the awesome foreign cheeses are out. However, you can see from the comments on the article than many people believe this is an antiquated theory and many of my mommy friends agree. I think I am going to hold the cheese until I talk to my doctor about it but the fact that only 2500 people get listeriosis makes me think I shouldn’t freak out if I accidentally get some stray feta on my salad.

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