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Is it ok to eat soft cheese if it's pasteurized?

(26 Posts)
12ylnon Sun 24-Feb-13 21:27:41

If listeria is killed by pasteurization, surely there isn't a problem with eating a soft pasteurized cheese such as camembert?
Also, i'm confused as to why pregnant women aren't told not to eat ready made sandwiches and salads and sliced cooked meats, as according to the NHS, these also have a higher risk of containing Listeria.
Should i be avoiding these things too?

babyiwantabump Sun 24-Feb-13 21:30:39

Pasteurised soft cheese is fine . And yes you should be avoiding ready made sandwiches - especially those with pre cooked chilled chicken .

ChairmanWow Sun 24-Feb-13 21:34:24

I assumed it was fine and had pasteurised Brie at Christmas. I've also eaten loads of ready made sarnies for lunch. I didn't know there was any advice about them and listeria.

I have to say that I am careful but not obsessively so. I guess you could take it to the nth degree and not eat any pre-prepared food whatsoever on the basis that there may be harmful bacteria but that would make life pretty difficult.

I'm not 100% on the pasteurised Camembert now you mention it but wouldn't be too concerned re ready-made sandwiches.

ChairmanWow Sun 24-Feb-13 21:35:22

By the way it's probably worth adding that I'm vegetarian so don't know about meat sandwiches.

www.nhs.uk/conditions/pregnancy-and-baby/pages/foods-to-avoid-pregnant.aspx#close - the problem with camembert is that it is very moist and is therefore an ideal breeding ground. You can eat some unpasteurised hard cheeses because of their low moisture content.

www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/are-hard-cheeses-safe-to-eat-during-.pregnancy.aspx

There is no advice to avoid ready made sandwiches

12ylnon Sun 24-Feb-13 21:41:16

Me too chairmanwow , just used sliced cooked meats as an example smile

Well that's good news, just had a camembert and apple wrap and it was yum.

Will be avoiding ready made sandwiches in the future.

Thanks!

snickersnacker Sun 24-Feb-13 21:44:49

NHS says no: www.nhs.uk/chq/Pages/why-cant-I-eat-soft-cheeses-during-pregnancy.aspx?CategoryID=54&SubCategoryID=216.

It's confusing, because unpasteurised hard cheese such as Stilton and emmental are safe (I did a happy little dance in my kitchen when I learned this) but soft mould-ripened cheeses like Brie and Camembert aren't, even if pasteurised. It's because listeria bacteria are more likely to survive in a moist environment. Processed soft cheeses like Philadelphia are fine.

you dont need to avoid sandwiches but are still advised not to eat camembert whether pasteurised or not

ValiaH Sun 24-Feb-13 21:51:57

I think its down to your own personal judgement- I ate (probably) unpasteurised goats cheese in Switzerland when 11 weeks pregnant, but only had a teeny bit as it was my favourite on the cheese plate, and it was a one off. It didn't cause any problems for me, but every pregnancy is different and every woman's choices unique to her situation x

12ylnon Sun 24-Feb-13 22:05:36

There isn't advice to avoid ready made sandwiches, no, but i wonder why there isn't. The same NHS website states that ready made sandwiches, butter, pate, soft cheeses, soft blue cheeses, cooked sliced meats and smoked salmon all have a higher risk of containing listeria. www.nhs.uk/conditions/Listeriosis/Pages/Introduction.aspx
I would have thought it was safer to eat a soft pasteurised cheese than a ready made sandwich. Surely there's a greater chance for the listeria to have been killed off during the pasteurisation process in the cheese?

QueenoftheHolly Sun 24-Feb-13 22:15:34

Hmmm, I read a thread on here 6 months ago (when I was pregnant) & concensus was that its not ok to eat any cheese that's mould ripened, even if pasteurised.

I had already eaten a whole Camembert thinking like you that pasteurised cheese was fine. I didn't eat any afterwards but regardless my LO is perfect grin.

My GP said there are more cases of listeria from pre washed bagged salad than from cheese. As we now know its not a good idea to trust the supermarkets!

ChairmanWow Sun 24-Feb-13 22:37:29

By the way you can have naughty cheeses if you cook them til they're piping hot, so you could bake that Camembert and dip bread into it. Yum!

ChairmanWow Sun 24-Feb-13 22:38:30

<now has to try and go to sleep whilst craving baked Camembert and crusty bread>

HJBeans Mon 25-Feb-13 08:42:07

Wow - there's massively conflicting info online on this - have seen lots of US pregnancy advice pages that say you're fine with pasteurised cheese. And not seeing the NHS advice, I enjoyed a lovely gooey cheese over the weekend. Should have known it was far too tasty to be unilaterally considered ok in pregnancy. Bollocks. [frown]

HJBeans Mon 25-Feb-13 08:43:23

sad, even. hmm

pinkpip100 Mon 25-Feb-13 12:59:45

Hmmm, I have just spent a week in France eating mountains of pasteurised brie, camembert etc. I thought it was fine if pasteurised. Now of course am panicking that I've done something dreadful sad.

daholster Tue 26-Feb-13 08:52:23

I have eaten pasteurised Brie. Tbh pregnancy is a risk full stop - you could catch anything. In Italy they encourage ppl to eat things like cured meats when pregnant, apparently. Here we are told to avoid it. I doubt their miscarriage rates are higher. It's safer to just avoid everything I suppose, but personally I feel it gets a bit ridiculous... Parents choice I reckon, so long as you can live with the outcome. But I'm not avoiding bagged salads, ready made sandwiches, all just in case...

I eat pasteurised soft cheeses and I avoid rare meat. I certainly avoid blue cheese and pâtés. Other than that I pretty much eat what I like!

knittingirl Tue 26-Feb-13 15:51:23

pinkpip if you're not ill, then I'd imagine you're fine! Given it's not the food per se which is dangerous, but just the chance that you might get food poisoning from a bacteria which there is a slight chance is present, most people would probably be fine eating the "forbidden" foods all pregnancy.

pinkpip100 Tue 26-Feb-13 22:57:46

Thanks knittingirl, and daholster. Its so hard to keep things in perspective...I'm sure that pregnancy does odd things to the brain.

ZuleikaD Wed 27-Feb-13 07:24:36

No, you can't eat any cheese that is mould-ripened, which includes Camembert, Brie and most goats' cheese. It doesn't matter if the milk was pasteurised, the problem is the mould-ripening process. The listeria risk is not to you it's to your baby - pregnant women are 20 times more likely to catch listeriosis than the rest of the population and it can cause miscarriage and birth complications.

You can eat them if they're cooked.

daholster Wed 27-Feb-13 07:44:31

I absolutely agree you should avoid stuff with higher risk, but since it is already consumed then there is no point in worrying about it now. And risk is all relative.

Guess I'll be avoiding the brie for the last few weeks!!! Can't wait to have a dippy egg and soldiers grin xx

pinkpip100 Thu 28-Feb-13 15:01:53

So Zuleika, would I know if I had listeriosis? Should I be getting tests done or something? I just wish I'd checked before eating all that (pasteurised) cheese.

HJBeans Thu 28-Feb-13 15:28:31

pinkpip, I'm no expert but think you would know if you had listeriosis. I looked the symptoms up on the NHS site after learning my too-tasty cheese was not ok by the NHS and was reassured by the description of high fever, body aches, etc. - none of which I have. I agree with daholster that there's no point in worrying about things you've eaten already which have a low risk of occurring overall. I read the symptoms of listeriosis mainly to be on the lookout for them in the very unlikely event this became a problem for me.

mnmnmn... dippy egg. smile

Onlyconnect Thu 28-Feb-13 15:39:46

The risks are so low with cheese I wonder if we are told to avoid that but not salad and bought sandwiches just because they think it's easier to avoid. I've been told that in Spain pregnant women are told to avoid all salad. How many peope do you know who have caught listeria from cheese? You're no more likely to get it when pregnant.

ZuleikaD Thu 28-Feb-13 15:52:57

You ARE more likely to get it when pregnant - that's the point. You're 20 times more likely to get it because your immune system is suppressed.

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