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Going to France? List of Pasteurised (and non-Blue) French Cheese Safe to Eat!

(34 Posts)
WhatDoIKnow2208 Fri 12-Jul-13 12:41:29

Hi all,
I'm new here, and this is my very first posting!
I'm 11 weeks and 6 days today, and just had my first trimester scan yesterday!!! smile
We're off on hols on Monday for 2 weeks in lovely Normandy & Brittany, and I am keen to enjoy myself as much as possible w/out putting Beloved Bump at risk.
Thanks to Waitrose.com and a super website called Cheeseonthegreen.com, I have compiled a list of French cheeses that are safe for pregnant women!
Hope this will prove useful/helpful to others!
(NB. cheeseonthegreen.com includes a list of pasteurised cheeses of other countries as well, Italy, etc.)

List of Pasteurised (and non-blue) French Cheese -










* PONT L'EVEQUE (specialite de Normandy)

Bon appetite!

WhatDoIKnow2208 Fri 12-Jul-13 12:46:35

p.s. A few useful French phrases:

Je suis enceinte. = I'm pregnant.

Lait pasteurise = Pasteurised milk

Avez-vous du fromage pasteurise? = Do you have any pasteurised cheese?

To order a well-cooked steak -

Bien cuit = well done

(Follow this request with "Je suis enceinte", and apparently the waiter won't get sniffy!) ;)

A bientôt!

lightrain Fri 12-Jul-13 12:50:42

Just be careful - it's not just whether cheese is pasteurised or not that makes it 'safe' to eat in pregnancy. It's risk of listeria that is the reason why soft cheeses such as Brie, etc are on the don't eat list.

NHS choices gives your bit of info on listeriosis if you're interested.

Have a lovely holiday!

islingtongirl Fri 12-Jul-13 12:52:08

Making me hungry! As pp said, be careful though as believe you cant eat goats cheese like Chevre due to the mouldy rind, regardless of whether pasteurised...

CheeseFondueRocks Fri 12-Jul-13 12:58:02

Yes, Chevre is a no-no due to the rind.

islingtongirl Fri 12-Jul-13 13:00:12

I would imagine the ash one is the same, sounds like a goats cheese. Sorry OP!

motherinferior Fri 12-Jul-13 13:04:18

If you heat blue cheese, though, you should be fine. (I did a feature on this ages ago...)

islingtongirl Fri 12-Jul-13 13:07:17

I think all cheeses are ok if thoroughly cooked (correct me if wrong)

cantreachmytoes Fri 12-Jul-13 13:12:41

Fromage cuit you can eat.
Fromage cru you can't.

If you haven't had toxoplasmosis and most UK women haven't, then you need to be totally anal about making sure your meat is very well done. Absolutely don't eat it if it's not.

Champagnebubble Fri 12-Jul-13 13:17:58

Thanks OP. I'm going to France and was thinking 'oh nooooooo' when I thought about all the delicious cheese I can't eat! I also won't be obviously pregnant. grin Thanks also for the phrases! smile

CheeseFondueRocks Fri 12-Jul-13 13:38:04

Yes, ALL cheeses are fine if cooked through.

ch1134 Fri 12-Jul-13 14:39:42

I was told yesterday by MW all cheese is fine unless it has blue veins or white fur

FoxMulder Fri 12-Jul-13 14:43:57

From memory, I think it says on NHS choices that stilton is ok because it's hard

Pretty much All hard cheeses, like Compté and Emmenthal are fine except the blue ones. I would keep it simple and avoid the soft cheeses, except those that comes from a factory like Boursin or Vache Qui Rit.

Have a good holiday. The French, you might find, are much more relaxed about this kind of thing. I ate pretty much all my fabourite cheeses throughout my pregnancy. Wouldn't have touched blue cheeses if I liked them, but I don't.

You can eat goat cheese melted on a pizza or salad though... <drools>

Aetae Fri 12-Jul-13 14:52:54

OP I hope you have a lovely holiday (and I'm very jealous, I love France) but your list isn't right (see NHS link below).

The cheese rules re pregnancy:
- All hard cheese incl blues (both pasteurised and unpasteurised) = OK
- Pasteurised soft cheese without a rind = OK
- Unpasteurised soft cheese without a rind = NOT OK
- Soft cheese with a rind = NOT OK
- Soft blue-veined cheese = NOT OK

So pasteurisation is really only an issue if it's a rindless soft cheese that isn't a blue...

Mutley77 Fri 12-Jul-13 14:53:20

Hang on I might be right off the mark here but some of those are types of cheese, so just because waitrose sells a pasteurised version doesn't mean every version of that cheese is pasteurised?

Enjoy your holiday!

islingtongirl Fri 12-Jul-13 14:59:59

Yes NHS says Stilton fine as it is a hard cheese. Really best to use their guidelines.

ExpatAl Fri 12-Jul-13 15:00:42

The French aren't more relaxed. Use the same rules you would use in the UK for eating cheese.

FoxMulder Fri 12-Jul-13 15:01:19

Nice summary Aetae So if you had pasteurised camembert, for example, that's not ok? Good to know.

Bejeena Fri 12-Jul-13 15:20:49

Guidelines and medical opinions differ quite a lot too, for exams here in Germany Parmesan is a definite no. I would only eat cheeses I have bought in supermarket from that list you provided and check the packaging, I wouldn't eat them in a restaurant in France, particularly as you are still in 1st trimester. Enjoy your holiday

Smerlin Fri 12-Jul-13 17:01:25

A lot of those cheeses would be made in France with unpasteurised milk even though in Waitrose they buy in pasteurised ones. Chèvre is definitely out due to the rind.

In supermarket cheese often says 'lait cru' on it if made with unpasteurised milk but in a restaurant you would have no way of knowing.

To be on the safe side with steak, I ask for très bien cuit because even bien cuit can have a bit of pink (not red).

Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 12-Jul-13 17:08:44

Delice and Epoisse de Bourgogne are definitely not 'safe' in terms of the guidelines. They are soft and the Epoisse has a washed rind.

Personally I didn't worry about cheese when I was pregnant, but that was my choice. If you are trying to stick to the guidelines then definitely don't eat those.

NomDeClavier Fri 12-Jul-13 17:12:23

In France if you're going to be really careful then you're stuck with Comté, Emmental, Mimolette and Boursin (and equivalents). Chèvre frais (so the ash one might be okay) but the bog standard Soignon isn't. But a chèvre salad should be fine as the chèvre will be cooked on bread.

Pont l'eveque is absolutely not okay, likewise Delice and Epoisse de Bourgognes and Chaumes because of the rinds.

Being pregnant in France makes dinner parties awkward wink

I second the advice on having well cooked meat - toxoplasmosis is probably more common in France, they're certainly more aware of it. Likewise if you're buying in a supermarket or market make sure you wash all lettuces and veggies really well.

Boosiehs Fri 12-Jul-13 17:13:32

Also - I spoke to my doctor when I was first pregnant about steak. I can't abide a well done steak - BOAK - but love love love a medium rare steak.

She said if it is properly cooked on the outside then it's very unlikely to do any harm.

I've followed that throughout pregancy and haven't been ill. I even ate steak in France. MMmmmmmm.

Steak Haché however is a different matter - all minced meat should be brown throughout as it's been exposed to the air.


Alibabaandthe40nappies Fri 12-Jul-13 17:14:57

Mmm cheese and steak

<is off to France in two weeks>

Yes, toxoplasmosis does seem to be more common here. I second the advice about carefully washing fruit and veg, especially if bought from market (home grown or grown on smallholding often, so more chance of cats etc).

I went off beef during pregnancy so wasn't faced with the trauma of eating well cooked steak grin

Champagnebubble Fri 12-Jul-13 17:49:26

Stupid question alert.....

Baked Camembert.....is that a yay or nay because it is baked?

Champagnebubble Fri 12-Jul-13 17:50:59

The non pasteurised I should say.....does cooking/baking it kill all the nasties?

islingtongirl Fri 12-Jul-13 17:53:07

Yes as I understand it if fully cooked it is fine to eat, pasteurised or non pasteurised.

Champagnebubble Fri 12-Jul-13 18:03:58

That makes me grin. Thanks!

islingtongirl Fri 12-Jul-13 18:06:28

Enjoy grin

MrsSchadenfreude Fri 12-Jul-13 18:06:45

I spent most of my first pregnancy in a place where you couldn't get pasteurised milk. The milk used to come from the farm, in a churn, and we used to boil it. All the cheese was made from raw milk. It's a wonder we're both still here, really. <Eyes up large 15 year old>

snickersnacker Fri 12-Jul-13 23:34:27

Congratulations on your pregnancy, OP. I know you're trying to be helpful but as other posters have said I'm afraid that your list is completely wrong and you have been wholly misinformed about the safety guidelines.

French and British advice is to avoid any soft or semi-soft mould-ripened cheese, regardless of whether it is pasteurised. The only cheeses on your list which are 'safe' are Mimolette, because it's a hard cheese, and Boursin, which although soft is processed and has no rind. All cheese is safe if cooked until piping hot, e.g. baked Camembert or chèvre on a pizza.

The risk of listeriosis is fairly slim and you may decide to eat these cheeses anyway, but if you have gone to the trouble of compiling a list then you should understand the guidance. I hope no-one is confused or misled by the list.

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