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What is raw milk cheese?

  1. If you are pregnant, you are advised not to eat soft, raw milk cheese. But why and what exactly is it? Which cheeses are you allowed during pregnancy?

  1. Most cheese produced in the Netherlands is made from pasteurized milk. Pasteurized milk has been heated briefly to make bacteria harmless. Some foreign cheeses are made from raw, unpasteurized milk. These cheeses can therefore contain bacteria such as the listeria bacteria.

Listeria

  1. The listeria bacteria (Listeria monocytogenes) is found in a variety of foods, including soft mold cheeses, smoked fish and processed meats. The bacteria survives the freezer and can multiply in the refrigerator, but cannot withstand temperatures above 70 degrees Celsius. If you eat foods that are contaminated with the listeria bacteria, you can get a food infection called Listeriosis. This is rare, 40 to 60 cases are known annually. Healthy people are usually not bothered by it. Some don't get any complaints at all, others feel a bit flu. Contamination with the listeria bacteria is dangerous for pregnant women, because it can lead to a miscarriage or a premature baby. That is why they are advised to avoid high-risk products, such as raw milk cheese.

Which cheese to avoid?

  1. During your pregnancy, avoid raw milk cheeses, especially soft varieties such as brie, roquefort, gorgonzola and camembert. Be especially careful with raw-milk cheeses that have undergone ripening, such as mold cheeses. You can recognize raw milk cheese by the designation â € au lait cruâ € ™ on the label. If you buy cheese that is not prepackaged, for example at the market, ask the seller if the cheese is raw milk.

Which cheese can you eat?

  1. All cheeses made from pasteurized milk are safe. So it is not about the type of cheese, but the milk from which the cheese is made. You can eat plain blue cheese, blue cheeses, feta, goat cheese, camembert, and so on, as long as it is pasteurized. Cottage cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese and cheese spread are heated during production and are therefore no problem. The label says 'pasteurized' or 'au lait pasturisà ©'. Is there nothing on the packaging and are you unsure? Inquire in the store whether the cheese is suitable for pregnant women. Farmer's cheese is made from raw milk, but because it is a hard cheese, it contains little moisture. The listeria bacteria do not thrive in a dry environment, so there is little chance that farmer's cheese contains listeria. If you heat raw milk cheese properly, you will kill any listeria bacteria that may be present and you can eat it.

Don't panic

  1. Did you accidentally eat a piece of cheese that turned out to be raw milk? That is no reason to panic. Fortunately, the risk of a listeria infection is very small. If you do become infected, you will not immediately become ill. This can take anywhere from two to ninety days. If you feel the flu or think you may be infected with the listeria bacteria, consult your doctor.

  2. Did you accidentally eat a piece of cheese that turned out to be raw milk? That's no reason to panic. The risk of a listeria infection is fortunately very small. If you do become infected, you will not immediately become ill. This can take anywhere from two to ninety days. If you feel the flu or think you may be infected with the listeria bacteria, consult your doctor.



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