What types of cheese are allowed during pregnancy?

What are the risks of eating certain types of cheese for a pregnant woman?

During pregnancy, a foreign body develops in the expectant mother’s uterus, which forces the immune system to weaken in order to tolerate it. Results: weakened immune system, and a greater susceptibility to infection and germs for the mother. While most infections are fortunately harmless during pregnancy, some of them can be the cause of dangerous diseases for the baby.


the listeriosis – or Listeria – is a foodborne infection caused by the small bacterium called Listeria monocytogenes. This bacterium can be particularly dangerous when it infects pregnant women and causes severe neonatal infection sometimes premature birth even an abortion.

Listeriosis is a very rare infection in France today. Even if vigilance is required, there is no need for paranoia!


the salmonellosis is an infection caused by ingesting bacteria called salmonella. While the symptoms of salmonellosis are generally mild, people with weakened immune system may suffer more severe symptoms. In pregnant women, it can even endanger the survival of the fetus. This bacterium prefers to develop in water-rich environments and at temperatures between 35 and 37 degrees.

What about toxoplasmosis?

the toxoplasmosis is one of the infections to watch out for during pregnancy. It is a parasitic infection transmitted to humans from animals, especially cats, mainly through undercooked meat and contaminated and poorly washed fruits and vegetables. “Milk is not contaminated with toxoplasmosisso it’s not this parasite that poses a problem for eating cheese,” the nutritionist states.

The two bacteria that are therefore found in certain types of cheese are Listeria and Salmonella.

Which Cheeses Should You Avoid During Pregnancy?

Both Listeria and Salmonella are heat sensitive bacteria. “These Bacteria are destroyed as soon as the temperature is exceeded 72 degrees for a few minutes”, specifies Pauline Bénaroch. On the other hand, they can multiply in all raw milk cheeses – which has not undergone pasteurization heat treatment – as well as to Cheese whose paste has not been cooked during the manufacturing process.

the blue cheese, Blue or Roquefort are also to be avoided as they are more sensitive to bacterial contamination. This also applies to cheese flowery crustlike Camembert, Brie or Coulommiers, or washed bark such as Maroilles or Pont-l’Evêque, which are at greater risk of contamination.

Pregnant women also avoid all types of cheese cut at the cheesemakerto avoid the risk of contamination from the knife, is used for all cheeses, therefore possibly for raw milk cheeses.

What types of cheese are allowed during pregnancy?

The cheeses allowed and risk-free during pregnancy are therefore:

  • the Cheese made from pasteurized milk : The information is always indicated on the packaging if industrial. Good news: almost all cheeses are made with pasteurized milk!
  • All cooked pressed cheese : Gruyère, Comté, Beaufort, abundance…
  • All cheeses once cooked through : gratin, raclette, fondue, etc.

Is goat cheese allowed during pregnancy?

There are almost a thousand different types of goat’s cheese, not all of which can be easily consumed by the expectant mother. “Goat cheese can be made from raw milk or pasteurized milk: only those with pasteurized milk are permitted to the mother-to-be,” says the nutritionist.

And the hot goat cheese? Regarding the famous hot goat cheese salad: again no worries if the goat cheese is pasteurized and if it is raw milk then it is required Make sure it’s cooked through. “For example, we’d rather have a small cabécou pavé than a big, thick goat’s cheese that might not be cooked through.”

Can you eat Comté or Gruyere when pregnant?

A favorite of the French, these two cheeses are pretty permitted for the pregnant woman! Comté and Gruyère are both cooked cheese : which protects them from possible bacterial contamination. Whether they are made from raw milk or pasteurized milk does not change anything: they can always be consumed without the risk of poisoning.

What about camembert and brie during pregnancy?

Like Brie, Camembert can be made from raw or pasteurized milk.
If they are made from raw milk, they should be avoided by pregnant women unless they are eaten well cooked in the oven.

If they are made from pasteurized milk, they are safe for the expectant mother to eat. “However, I recommend removing the crust, which is a floral crust and therefore susceptible to bacterial contamination,” says Pauline Benaroch.

Can I eat feta when pregnant?

Feta is always made from a priori Pasteurized milk and therefore can be consumed without fear by the pregnant woman. However, be careful when traveling to Greece, where it can be made from raw milk in a traditional way: better avoid!

And the mozzarella?

If the Most commercial mozzarellas are made from pasteurized milk, some are still made with raw milk. Therefore, it is better to look at the packaging before consuming it: if it is made from raw milk, it must be mentioned on the packaging.
If in doubt about the nature of the milk used, the mozzarella can be sliced ​​and eaten cooked through: in pizza, gratin or on a slice of gourmet bread.

Can I eat raclette when I’m pregnant?

Raclette cheese can be made from raw milk or pasteurized milk: both are available. Therefore, if it is made from pasteurized milk, it is safe to consume even if it is not fully cooked. If, on the other hand, it is prepared with raw milk, the expectant mother must ensure that it is well cooked on the raclette grill: Ideally, it should form small bubbles over its entire surface !

But be careful: if you eat raclette when pregnant, you should also pay attention to the cold cuts, as most are not recommended during pregnancy!

What about industrial cream cheese spreads?

Kiri®, Laughing Cow®, Philadelphia®, Saint-Morêt® and all other spreadable cheeses on the market are made from pasteurized milk and cooked at a high temperature. You are therefore fully authorized. during pregnancy and do not pose a health risk to the expectant mother or the fetus!

Is cheddar allowed?

Unlike Emmental or Comté, cheddar is a pressed but uncooked cheese. It may therefore only be consumed by pregnant women when prepared with pasteurized milk. Remember to check the information on the cheese label.

What about cottage cheese, cottage cheese, or even ricotta during pregnancy?

In the vast majority of cases, these very fresh cheeses are made from pasteurized milk, making them perfectly safe for the mother-to-be. However, if you buy cream cheese, cottage cheese, or ricotta cheese from a dairy or directly from the farmer, these may be made from raw milk, so it’s best to avoid them throughout pregnancy.

What to do when you realize you’ve eaten a risky cheese?

Do you realize afterwards that you consumed a cheese that is not recommended during pregnancy? Don’t panic: you should already know that listeria – which is most at risk during pregnancy – is a very rare disease in France, as it only affects around 300 people each year. Salmonellosis is more common, but the risks of serious pregnancy complications are very rare.
For symptoms such as fever or headachefeel free consult your doctor as soon as possible who may order additional investigations. If it turns out you’ve been contaminated with a bacterium, he can offer you one antibiotic treatment to avoid contamination of the fetus.

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