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Can I Eat Feta Cheese While Pregnant : Is it Safe or Should I Avoid It?
Let’s face it. A lot of pregnant women find feta cheese delicious. But you don’t just eat anything while you are pregnant because your choice of food can negatively affect your baby.
Feta cheese, produced from pasteurized milk, is safe for consumption by pregnant women because the harmful microorganisms contained in the milk are eliminated during the pasteurization process.
According to the FDA (Food and Drug Administration), expectant mothers should only consume feta cheese that is produced from pasteurized milk. Most feta cheese products made from pasteurized milk always bears the label, “made from pasteurized milk.”
But then, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) warned that there is some measure of risk privy to expectant mothers who consume soft cheeses. Even those made from pasteurized products as they contain harmful microorganisms if the factory that produces it operates under unsanitary conditions.
What are the Risks Involved in Consuming Feta Cheese?
The major risk involved in the consumption of Feta Cheese by expectant mothers is that it has a harmful microorganism known as Listeria monocytogens.
This organism can potentially be dangerous to your unborn child.
This microorganism is frequently seen in foods produced from animal products such as meat and dairy, or food grown on lands that were previously contaminated with the microorganism.
Celery is one of such foods. Also, you can see the microorganism in some meat products like hot dogs and cold cuts.
Some animals can potentially have the microorganism without showing any trace of sickness, so it could entirely elude the notice of the farmers who keep them. Hence, some products gotten from such animals, like meat, cheese, etc., will have the bacteria in them.
Listeria monocytogens is known to microbiologists, to be a very sly microorganism. Unlike most other harmful microorganisms, it thrives even at refrigeration temperature, hence storing pasteurized feta cheese brands with these types of microorganism is hamper their growth.
Cheese may smell normal and appear to have nothing wrong with it even when it has the bacteria, so you may not it if it has it or not. There may not be any sign of wrongness after consuming a soft cheese with the microorganism, either.
While it is true that it may not bring sickness to all who eat it, Listeria monocytogens is very dangerous to pregnant women, most particularly those above the age of 65, or those with their immune systems already compromised.
According to the information made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, pregnant Hispanic women have a whopping twenty-four times higher chance of having an illness related from Listeria monocytogens; hence it is vital to know your chances before deciding on consuming just about any soft cheese.
What is Listeriosis?
Consuming foods with Listeria may lead to a disease known as listeriosis, which is particularly harmful to expectant mothers. According to CDC reports, the disease is dangerous on its own, so it is not surprising to see that it is among the top three leading cause of death from consuming infected foods.
However, it is particularly dangerous for expectant mothers. It can lead to complications resulting in a miscarriage in mothers who are still in their first trimester. Later on during the pregnancy, it can still result in premature birth, which can also result in death is the child is born too early.
The baby, even though still in the womb, can also have the bacteria. As a result, it stands the chance of having:
- developmental disorders
- brain disorders
- kidney conditions
- heart issues
Also, it can result in meningitis and blood-related infections. It is also linked to stillbirths.
Symptoms of Listeriosis
As stated earlier, the condition of listeriosis can be a tricky one because it may be hard to tell when you have it. It causes some soft symptoms in expectant mothers. These symptoms include:
Expectant mothers who consume soft cheese products or other foods such as cold cuts containing Listeria should watch out for the slightest signs of stillbirth or premature labor. These signs are:
- cramps or contractions
- bleeding or any discharge
- not feeling the baby move
- feeling “off.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Eat Cooked Feta When Pregnant?
What cheese can you eat when pregnant? So far the feta cheese underwent pasteurization, you can eat it both raw and cooked. The protein amount in feta cheese is sufficient to get your muscles repaired and a great addition for mothers trying to meet their dietary demands of macronutrient, such as calcium and sodium. The body cannot do without these nutrient because of their use in several metabolic processes and pathways.
When Is Not The Right Time To Eat Feta Cheese During Pregnant?
Do not consume cheese from pasteurized feta cheese brands if you have issues with your digestion of some certain foods. If you have acne backouts or if you are suffering from lactose intolerance, then limit your consumption of feta cheese, or cut it out completely. It is also important to know the source of the feta cheese that you are consuming.
Can I Eat Feta Cheese While Pregnant Conclusion
Takeaway or still asking, ‘can I eat feta cheese while pregnant?’ You’ll always stand that slight risk when you consume soft cheese products. So your best bet is to shy away from them as much as possible.
And if you want to eat cheese feta, let it be a product made from pasteurized milk. Take note of even the slightest symptoms of listeriosis so that you can check out a medical sign to help you treat it before it causes any major damage.
If you think that your feta cheese supplier does not meet a manufacturing plant’s hygiene and safety standards, it is altogether profitable to your health if you don’t buy from them. Bacterial infection and cross-contamination are possible when sourcing your food from those sources.
Do not also eat feat cheese in great amounts if you are on a low carbohydrate diet.