Can you eat mozzarella when pregnant?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “can you eat mozzarella when pregnant?”, and other queries related to this topic.

Can you eat mozzarella when pregnant? 

Yes, you can eat mozzarella when pregnant as long as it is made from pasteurized milk. However, if it is made from unpasteurized milk, it is better to be avoided because it might be contaminated with bacteria and pathogens.

Pasteurization is a process used to heat the milk at a high temperature to kill bacteria and pathogens. So, if the mozzarella cheese is made from pasteurized milk it will be safe to be consumed cooked and uncooked like on your pizza, in your salad, or sandwich. 

The pasteurization kills Salmonella, E. coli, Listeria, Brucella, Campylobacter, and Cryptosporidium because the milk is heated for 15 seconds at a temperature equal to 165°F and then quickly cooled down. 

The pathogens already listed are very dangerous during pregnancy and pose harmful effects on the mother and the baby. So, drinking raw milk will lead to several risks, and in extreme cases, these bacteria can lead to stillbirth and miscarriage. 

Therefore, pregnant women should select manufactured and commercially produced mozzarella cheese and avoid buying homemade or artisan mozzarella cheese. Moreover, you can eat mozzarella made from cows or buffalo milk, it depends on your preference and both are safe. 

Additionally, it is advisable to consume mozzarella cheese a few days after the package opening if you are willing to eat it uncooked, and do not leave it outside the fridge for more than two hours because it is very delicate to temperature fluctuations.

What are the benefits of mozzarella cheese during pregnancy?

Mozzarella is a type of cheese and cheese is a part of a healthy and diversified diet, additionally, it is rich in minerals and nutrients. Cheese is high in calcium and protein. These two are essential for the baby’s growth and development. 

Regarding calcium, it is crucial for the baby’s bone development. So, pregnant women above eighteen should consume 1000 milligrams of calcium daily. However, this recommendation increases when the age of the mother is lower than eighteen.

However, most pregnant women take multivitamins and supplements during the first few months of pregnancy. So, there is no worry about if the mother is meeting her minerals and vitamins requirements or not.

In addition, cheese is rich in protein, and generally pregnant women need more protein than non-pregnant women. Cheese is a source of vitamin B12, vitamin A, zinc, phosphorus, and riboflavin.

Moreover, mozzarella is considered a white cheese so it is lower in fat compared to yellow cheese like cheddar for example. Also, it is low in sodium and pregnant women are advised to reduce their sodium intake to prevent water retention and gestational hypertension.

What cheeses can’t you eat while pregnant?

All cheese that has not been pasteurized or made from unpasteurized milk should not be consumed by pregnant women. Moreover, brie, camembert, blue cheese, and Roquefort cheese should be avoided.

Because these cheeses are fermented by specific yeast and bacteria. So, these bacteria secreted chemical components within the cheese giving them a special aroma and smell. Hence, these components might be harmful to pregnant women and their babies.

Moreover, in some cases, soft cheeses are better to not be consumed and ingested by pregnant women. These cheeses are high in moisture so they are prone to bacteria and mold. Also, bacteria might develop within these kinds of cheese without indicating any sign of spoilage.

What types of cheese are safe during pregnancy?

All types of cheese made from pasteurized milk are safe for consumption such as feta, cream cheese, cottage cheese, ricotta, cheddar, halloumi, and parmesan. So, generally, all hard cheeses are safe for pregnant women.

Hard cheese like cheddar and parmesan are low in moisture, so bacteria and mold are less likely to grow and develop within the cheese. Additionally, soft cheeses such as ricotta and cottage cheese are safe when made from pasteurized milk and when stored properly.

However, some cheeses like brie, Roquefort, and camembert can be consumed if they were cooked or added to a cooked dish. High temperatures during cooking kill harmful bacteria and reduce the risk of getting poisoned and sick.

What food to avoid during pregnancy?

Along with unpasteurized milk, some food should be avoided during pregnancy. First, all kinds of raw, undercooked, and processed meat like salami, pâté, medium-cooked steak, salmon, and tartare should be avoided because they are contaminated with Listeria.

Moreover, any dish that contains uncooked and raw eggs should be avoided. Because uncooked eggs contain salmonella which leads to food poisoning. Additionally, large fish like marlin and sharks should not be consumed due to their high mercury content.

Conclusion


In this brief guide, we will discuss the following question, “can you eat mozzarella when pregnant?”, and other queries related to this topic.


References

https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/mozzarella-pregnancy#other-cheeses
https://youaremom.com/pregnancy/im-going-to-be-a-mom/prenatal-care/can-you-eat-mozzarella-when-pregnant/

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.