Can you eat asiago cheese while pregnant?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Can you eat asiago cheese while pregnant?” as well as provide information about cheeses that are safe to consume during pregnancy and listeriosis.

Can you eat asiago cheese while pregnant?

Yes, you can eat asiago cheese while pregnant. It is important to remember that consuming pasteurized asiago cheese is relatively safe. 

You can also consume unpasteurized Asiago cheese as this cheese is aged but still, it might be a little risky.

Cheese made from pasteurized milk is safe to consume. Imported cheeses or unpasteurized cheeses should not be consumed. Food-borne illnesses namely Listeriosis can occur after consuming unpasteurized cheeses.

Listeriosis can induce mild-flu like symptoms and promote premature delivery. It can also induce miscarriage, cause illness, and even cause the death of the baby. Listeria can be found in unpasteurized semi-soft cheeses too.

What is Asiago cheese?

Asiago cheese is a cheese made from cow’s milk. It is produced in specific parts of northern Italy. The texture of the cheese can vary from medium to hard depending on the aging process of the cheese.

It has a sour and sweet flavor with a texture similar to that of a sponge cake. The color of the cheese can range from pale yellow to amber yellow.

Which cheeses are safe to consume during pregnancy?

  • Hard or semi-hard cheese varieties can be consumed during pregnancy if they are made up of pasteurized milk. This is because hard cheese contains a lesser amount of moisture content. 

Hard cheeses are also kept to mature for a longer period of time than soft cheeses. Hard or semi-hard cheeses would include Cheddar, Halloumi, Parmesan, Swiss, Gouda, Romano, Edam, and Provolone cheese.

  • Soft cheeses have higher water content. Soft cheeses are creamy and smooth and do not take a longer time to prepare. As a result, it is easier for microbes to spoil soft cheeses than hard cheeses. 

Soft cheeses are not recommended during pregnancy though some soft cheeses can be consumed. This includes Mozarella, cream cheese, and cottage cheese.

You can consume soft cheeses if they are hot and warm. This includes Brie, camembert, Ricotta, Feta, Chevre, and Danish blue cheese. Do not consume them raw.

  • Processed cheese contains a combination of varieties of cheese. Processed cheese products include cheese slices or pre-packaged cheese. Avoid consuming processed cheeses during pregnancy.
  • If the cheeses are cooked, baked, grilled, or fried it is safe to consume. Warm cheeses that are safe to consume would have an internal temperature of at least 165℉. 

Why are some cheeses unsafe to consume?

Soft cheeses or processed cheeses are not safe to consume during pregnancy. This is because it might contain a harmful bacteria called Listeria. Listeria is commonly found in soil and water. 

As it is primarily found in salt and water, Listeria can also contaminate vegetables or plants.

Animals can also carry this bacteria. As a result, certain meat and milk products can also be contaminated with Listeria.

Listeria can cause Listeriosis in humans. Listeriosis usually affects individuals with a weakened immune system, infants, the elderly, and pregnant women.

Symptoms of Listeriosis include flu and fever. It can also cause body aches, nausea, and diarrhea.

Other FAQs on cheese that you might be more interested in.

What are the effects of Listeriosis during pregnancy?

A pregnant woman affected by Listeriosis might not suffer any serious issues herself but the infant can be negatively affected. 

Listeriosis can result in premature birth, miscarriage, or stillbirth. If the baby survives, the baby has an increased risk of developing health complications later.

What are the other factors that need to be kept in mind before consuming cheese?

  • Check the label of the cheese to see whether the cheese has been pasteurized or not while buying them. If the label does not mention that the cheese has been pasteurized, you can ask the manufacturer or avoid buying that cheese.

This goes without saying but it is essential to buy cheeses from reputed shops.

  • If you have consumed unsafe cheese, try not to worry so much. Check out for signs or symptoms like diarrhea or flu-like symptoms which include fever, headaches, or muscle pain. 

If you notice these symptoms, it is better to immediately consult a doctor.

  • Hard cheeses irrespective of whether it has been pasteurized or not pasteurized, are safe to eat.
  • Avoid consuming soft-mold ripened cheese or soft blue-veined cheese during pregnancy. Consume them only if they are thoroughly cooked or warm.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Can you eat asiago cheese while pregnant?” as well as provided information about cheeses that are safe to consume during pregnancy and listeriosis.

References

https://www.webmd.com/baby/pregnancy-myths-dos-donts#1
https://www.thespruceeats.com/what-is-asiago-995566