Reports in the news constantly tell us of foods we can and can't eat; foods that make us ill or overweight or increase the risk of such-and-such. There are so many differing views on cheese and what you should or should not eat during pregnancy that it becomes confusing, adding to the long lists of do's and dont's pregnant women have to adhere to.
There are cheeses that are advisable to avoid during pregnancy due to the risk (albeit a very small risk) of contracting listeriosis. Listeria is a bacteria found in the soil where the cows, sheep and goats graze. If cheese is unpasteurised there is a risk of listeria being present in the cheese which can cause serious, if not fatal damage to an unborn or newborn baby. However, if the milk is pasteurised, heated or cooked, the bacteria, in most cases are killed. Blue-veined cheeses and soft-cheeses are unadvisable during pregnancy, even if they are pasteurised. These blue and soft cheeses provide the perfect acidic, moist environment for listeria to grow. But it's not all bad news! If you cook these cheeses thoroughly until piping hot all the way through they are generally safe to eat. And it gets even better - all hard cheeses are generally considered safe to eat, even if they are unpasteurised.
If you want to be zealous about what you do and don't eat it's totally up to you, or you can live as the French do. A lot of French women eat whatever they want, including soft cheese. With an infant mortality rate of 3.2 per 1000 babies (4.6 in UK) and a life expectancy of 81.5 years old (79.9 in UK) - they must be doing something right. According to the CDC (Centres for Disease Control and Prevention) the cases of listeriosis in unborn or newborn babies has not increased in recent years and is in fact more common in people above the age of 60.
If you want advice, feel free to pop into the shop and sample some delicious hard pasteurised cheese, alternatively - we have designed the perfect cheese gift box, once the baby has arrived, tuck into our New Mother's Box!
*Please note, it's always best to talk to your doctor or health advisor if you have any serious queries or concerns.*