We all love a bit of cheese from time to time, and if you've got a craving for some Cheddar on crackers or a delicious mozzarella salad, you might be wondering if it's safe to eat during pregnancy.
Turns out tucking into cheese when you’re expecting can sometimes be a little complicated because of the risk of listeria - a bacteria that’s present in certain types of cheese.
Listeria is dangerous during pregnancy as it can cause food poisoning.
Fitness, wellness guru and nutrition expert Penny Weston says, ‘Listeriosis is a rare infection caused by bacteria called listeria. It usually goes away on its own, but can cause serious problems if you're pregnant or have a weak immune system. There’s a small chance it can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth or make a newborn baby poorly. Listeria can infect the placenta, the amniotic fluid, and the baby, and can cause miscarriage or stillbirth. Infected babies who survive are likely to be born prematurely.’
Luckily, there's still plenty of fromage safe to eat when you're pregnant - we’ve picked 15 of the best…
Which cheese is safe to eat during pregnancy?
All hard cheeses are safe to eat during pregnancy as well as some soft cheeses made with pasteurised milk. Below we've rounded up some of our favourite cheeses which you can still enjoy while you're pregnant.
A hard, orange cheese, Double Gloucester is a great alternative to Cheddar and grating it into cheese sauces or macaroni cheese adds a bit of colour.
You could also mix some into this Cauliflower Cheese recipe.
Which cheese should I avoid in pregnancy?
Many soft cheeses shouldn't be consumed when you're pregnant including brie, camembert and chèvre (a type of goat’s cheese).
As well as these, you should also avoid Danish blue cheese, gorgonzola and roquefort.
These soft, moist cheeses allow listeria bacteria to grow on them and although it's very rare, in some cases you can catch an illness called listeriosis from this cheese which may harm your unborn baby.
The good news? You can enjoy any of these cheeses if they're cooked! So if you fancy a melting camembert with some bread, just ensure it's piping hot (not just melting) before you eat it.
What about vegan cheese?
Generally, vegan cheese is safe to eat while you're pregnant, however, they aren't going to provide a good source of calcium and they can often be highly processed.
According to Penny, vegan cheese is usually safe to consume in pregnancy.
‘It's always advisable to do a thorough check of the ingredients and contact a medical practitioner if you’re at all concerned. In order to boost calcium levels if you’re having a vegan pregnancy you can consume more of the following foods, which are all rich in calcium: dark green leafy vegetables, pulses, fortified unsweetened soya, rice and oat drinks, brown and white bread, calcium-set tofu, sesame seeds and tahini, dried fruit.’