Can You Eat Mozzarella When Pregnant?

In this brief guide, we will discuss the question, “can you eat mozzarella when pregnant?”. We will also discuss which mozzarella (and other cheese) is safe during pregnancy, and which one is not. Then, we will learn the nutrients and benefits of mozzarella for pregnant women.

Can you eat mozzarella when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat mozzarella when pregnant. 

Pregnant women can safely eat mozzarella cheese and other soft cheese varieties as long as it is made from pasteurized milk.

Which kind of mozzarella is safe to eat during pregnancy?

The mozzarella made from pasteurized milk is safe to eat during pregnancy.

Pasteurization is the process of heating foods, especially dairy products, to a specific temperature that kills pathogens. 

Mozzarella made from pasteurized milk can be eaten both cooked and fresh during pregnancy, as pasteurization virtually eliminates harmful bacteria. 

Therefore, it is essential to read the food label thoroughly to make sure the mozzarella cheese you buy is made from pasteurized milk. Or, if you eat out, don’t be afraid to ask about the origin of the cheese in your dish. If it is pasteurized, you can enjoy it.

Which kind of mozzarella should you avoid during pregnancy?

You can’t eat mozzarella made from unpasteurized or raw milk during pregnancy. 

It is vital to choose pasteurized mozzarella cheese because the risk of eating soft cheese during pregnancy is associated with Listeria. This harmful bacteria is the third leading cause of death from food poisoning in the United States.

Soft cheese has a high moisture content in it. Making soft cheeses from unpasteurized milk or raw milk increases the chances of Listeria growing and can cause infections.  

Pregnant women are ten times more likely than other individuals to have Listeria infection, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Miscarriages, stillbirths, and premature labor are possible outcomes of Listeria infection. Pregnant mothers infected by Listeria can transmit the virus to their unborn children. Infection with Listeria can lead to severe sickness and even death in infants.

Use your senses to determine the safety of any suspicious cheese, regardless of pasteurization issues. Do not consume mozzarella that has a terrible odor or visible mold. When it comes to food deterioration, it’s best to follow the adage: “When in doubt, throw it out.” This is especially true during pregnancy.

What brands of mozzarella are using pasteurized milk?

The most straightforward alternative for pregnant women is to avoid “artisan” or “homemade” type cheeses and instead choose professionally produced and processed mozzarella. This variety is manufactured in a facility and packed with a complete list of ingredients. 

The following are some of the most well-known mozzarella brands that use pasteurized milk:

  • Belgioioso
  • Di Stefano
  • Galbani 
  • Kraft
  • Mandara
  • Sargento
  • Any own-brand supermarket mozzarella

 

Is mozzarella cheese sold in my country safe for pregnant women?

Outside of Italy, the good news is that it nearly always is.

In the United States, the FDA mandates that all mozzarella makers use pasteurized milk rather than raw milk (source: FDA). As a result, all commercially manufactured mozzarella cheese made in the United States is commonly pasteurized.

However, several jurisdictions still allow the selling of raw milk, so you could come across an artisan, farm-shop-style cheese that occasionally uses raw milk. However, this is quite uncommon.

A similar situation exists in Australia, where both raw milk cheeses and raw milk are prohibited from sale. Exceptions and loopholes do, however, occasionally appear. Pasteurized milk will be used in any commercially produced mozzarella in Australia.

Raw milk is more common in the UK and Europe since it’s utilized in many traditional cheeses and dishes. Unpasteurized milk products must be labeled as such by law, so check the label first if you’re buying mozzarella in Europe.

Can you eat fresh mozzarella when pregnant without cooking it?

Yes. You can eat fresh mozzarella when pregnant without cooking it.

There’s some misunderstanding about eating ‘raw’ cold, uncooked mozzarella since ‘raw’ sounds awful. Let’s get this straight:

Mozzarella prepared from raw milk (that is, milk that has not been pasteurized) is not safe.

If mozzarella is manufactured from pasteurized milk, it is safe to consume raw, as in cold, fresh, soft, directly from the package and not cooked.

Can pregnant women have mozzarella on a pizza? 

Mozzarella on a pizza is safe to eat while pregnant.

This is due to two factors: 

  • Commercially prepared pizza mostly always contains pasteurized milk mozzarella
  • Cooking mozzarella would make it safe to consume while pregnant, as the heat of the pizza oven would destroy any bacteria.

Is mozzarella cheese beneficial for pregnant women and their babies?

 

Although we don’t usually think of cheese as healthy food, mozzarella has a range of nutritional advantages.

Mozzarella is rich in calcium and protein, which are essential during pregnancy. It is also high in vitamin B12 and phosphorus.

Calcium, the star vitamin, is essential for bone health. Your body also sends calcium to your unborn child, which aids in the development of their bones and teeth.

Mozzarella contains 200 milligrams of calcium per 1-ounce serving. This means that 6,5 ounces of mozzarella a day can fulfill the calcium intake needed by a pregnant teenager. 

During pregnancy, a serving of Mozza will help with various tasks, including the formation of breast and uterine tissue, the increase of blood flow, and the support of your baby’s brain growth.

When it comes to cheeses, mozzarella is a low-sodium alternative, with only around 7% of your daily sodium intake per ounce. If you’re on a low-sodium diet, a small amount of the Mozza might be a pleasant way of fulfilling your cheese appetite.

Meanwhile, mozzarella is a great way to get your additional calories throughout the second and third trimesters of pregnancy because it is dense with nutrients

As it promotes your own healthy weight gain, it may also aid your baby’s. Studies show that milk and dairy consumption during pregnancy has been linked to increased childbirth weight and length.

Because of its milk content, mozzarella has probiotic benefits. The American Pregnancy Association suggests that pregnant women consume mozzarella to get probiotics naturally.

Which kind of cheese can you eat when pregnant? 

The list of soft cheeses to avoid during pregnancy is somewhat limited.

You’re free to eat a variety of delectable cheeses as long as they’re not mold-ripened and manufactured with pasteurized milk. Here is the list of cheese you can eat during pregnancy:

  • paneer
  • Havarti
  • halloumi
  • Parmesan
  • pecorino
  • Romano
  • cheddar
  • Swiss

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we will discuss the question, “can you eat mozzarella when pregnant?”. We will also discuss which mozzarella (and other cheese) is safe during pregnancy, and which one is not. Then, we will learn the nutrients and benefits of mozzarella for pregnant women.

References

https://www.cdc.gov/listeria/risk-groups/pregnant-women.html

https://www.cdc.gov/listeria/index.html

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3505908/

https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0379572118775824

https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/357077/nutrients

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4942872/

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25117002/

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.