Can you eat ricotta when pregnant?

In this short blog, we will answer the question “can you eat ricotta when pregnant?”. We will also consider what ricotta is, the safety of eating ricotta when pregnant, other safe and unsafe cheeses to eat during pregnancy, and how to safely eat ricotta during pregnancy.

Can you eat ricotta when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat ricotta when pregnant. Since the majority of ricotta cheese sold in stores is made using pasteurised milk. Cheeses and milk products are a great source of contamination and can be detrimental to pregnant women as they have weakened immunity. However, when cheeses and milk products are pasteurised pregnant women can consume them.

What is ricotta?

Ricotta is a cheese byproduct in an actual sense. Ricotta is made by reheating the whey leftover from the preparation of other cheeses like mozzarella and provolone. 

Ricotta is a dairy product that can be prepared from the whey of any dairy animal, including cows, sheep, goats, and Italian water buffalo. Ricotta has a gritty, thick sour cream feel and is inherently low in fat compared to other cheeses. Ricotta is a cheap and frequently available cheese.

Is it safe to eat ricotta when pregnant?

Ricotta is generally safe to consume as this brand of cheese is prepared from pasteurised milk. During pasteurization, the process of heating beverages and foods destroys germs that might cause diseases, such as listeria.

Thus, this is an indication that most ricotta is safe to consume while pregnant. You must, however, endeavour to read the label and be sure it is a pasteurised product and thus safe to consume during pregnancy. 

What are some other safe cheeses to eat during pregnancy?

Although pregnancy weakens the expectant mothers’ immunity, they are all at high risk of food poisoning and infections, pregnant women can still eat the things they like while considering the safest alternatives. Cheeses can also be enjoyed during pregnancy but not all are safe to eat during pregnancy. Other cheeses that are deemed safe to eat during pregnancy, in addition to ricotta, include:

  • Cottage cheese
  • Processed cheeses
  • Mozzarella
  • Feta 
  • Cream cheese
  • Paneer 
  • Hard goat cheese

On cheese packaging, always search for the term “pasteurised.” It’s safe to consume if this word is on the label.

What kind of cheese to avoid eating when pregnant?

Just like many kinds of cheese are available for pregnant women to consume, there are some cheeses you should also avoid when pregnant. 

Soft kinds of cheese with white rings such as Brie, Camembert, and various goat cheese are to be avoided during pregnancy. Soft blue cheese should also be avoided. However, if these cheeses are cooked thoroughly, you may be able to eat them.

How to eat ricotta recipes safely during pregnancy?

If ricotta is produced from pasteurised milk or cooked properly, their recipes will be great to enjoy safely while pregnant. Here are a few ricotta recipes to consume.

  • Ricotta ravioli – this ricotta is normally prepared as the ravioli is cooking, so as long as it’s hot when you serve it, you should be good. It’s the same with any sort of ricotta and spaghetti.
  • Ricotta Lasagne – lasagne is often baked, and ricotta is acceptable in a lasagne. If you’re reheating leftovers, make sure they are thoroughly heated.
  • Ricotta and spinach – this is frequently used as a ravioli or lasagna filling, so you should follow the same ‘cook until hot’ instructions. 
  • Baked or cooked ricotta of any variety, whether on its own or in a dish is safe if heated until hot and can be consumed when pregnant.
  • Ricotta cheesecake – this is a bit of a grey area because ricotta may be found in both baked cheesecakes, which are normally safe but set cheesecake can be dangerous if made with raw eggs. 
  • Ricotta pancakes – the ricotta is baked in the batter, and they are usually safe to eat while pregnant.
  • Whipped or sweetened ricotta, which is an uncooked dessert, is only safe if it is made with pasteurised milk such as that used in cannoli fillings. 
  • Ricotta Salata should be treated the same as ordinary ricotta because “Salata” means “salted,” and the ricotta that results is firmer and saltier than other forms. 
  • Smoked ricotta should be handled similarly to regular ricotta. Because the cheese is commonly cold-smoked, the smoking procedure does not “cook” it, so treat it as you would with conventional ricotta.
  • Aged ricotta has a harder texture, thus, it should be cooked till hot before consuming aged ricotta made with pasteurised milk.

Conclusion

In this short blog, we have answered the question “can you eat ricotta when pregnant?”. We have also considered what ricotta is, the safety of eating ricotta when pregnant, other safe and unsafe cheeses to eat during pregnancy, and how to safely eat ricotta during pregnancy.

Citation

https://www.thespruceeats.com/ricotta-cheese-recipes-and-cooking-tips-1802376
https://www.healthline.com/health/pregnancy/is-ricotta-cheese-safe#Food-Fix:-What-to-Eat-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.