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Sorry-very trivial!! I'm on holiday in France and just found out I'm pg. what cheeses etc can/can't I eat?

(24 Posts)
zippyswife Tue 16-Jun-15 08:40:59

I found out I'm pregnant the other day whilst I'm france on holiday. I'm all about the cheese over here (and all the food to be fair). I can't work out what I can eat- I've been sticking to boring emmental to be safe but anyone know if I can eat the Comte cheese- it's hard but has a rind- I don't know if it's pasteurised.

Also- the dessert pots (a bit like a chocolate yoghurt) and the celery salad is in a creamy mayonnaise which says it's made with egg can I eat these (don't know if it's fresh egg).

I've been sticking to boring food to avoid eating the wrong things!

If anyone can advise I'd be reay grateful.

MissTwister Tue 16-Jun-15 09:04:34


I'd imagine France is a minefield! I believe hard cheese is fine whether pasteurised or not, soft cheese needs to be pasteurised and mould ripened cheese such as Brie or soft blue is a no-no whatever.

Mousse and Mayo are okay if egg is pasteurised which is normal in supermarket bought stuff but often not the case if home made.

And remember all meat needs to be well cooked and no pate!

Best advice to follow is here on NHS

TheOddity Tue 16-Jun-15 09:25:19

Advice above is good, but also watch out for 'charcuterie' stuff, like Palma ham, cured meats, salami etc. toxoplasmosis risk. Not the best place to be France, surrounded by nice wine, cheese and cured meat! Congratulations!

popalot Tue 16-Jun-15 10:12:08

pasturised only - france still has plenty unpasturised. I would avoid all soft cheese, brie, blue cheeses - unless you know they are pasturised. Lots of lovely french bread and croissants for you!

goldenhen Tue 16-Jun-15 10:24:56

Just got back from France, comte will be absolutely fine (and delicious) as will any cooked ham.

I think the biggest difference between France and here is that toxoplasmosis is more common over there, so you do have to take extra precautions for that. Obviously making sure meat is cooked through etc ("je suis enceinte" means "I'm pregnant" if you want to tell waiting staff in restaurants) but one thing French pregnant women are advised to do that we aren't is to also be careful with salad in restaurants, because toxoplasmosis is often found in the soil over there. So wash radishes, carrots etc carefully yourself - or if in doubt just stick to cooked veg.

I ate loads of ratatouille and grilled fish, which was really nice!

goodnessgraciousgouda Tue 16-Jun-15 10:31:56

I have to disagree about the compte - it's a hard cheese but often not pasteurised. I am based in lyon and am always surprised when i find hard cheeses I can't eat!

If in a restaurant I would also avoid mozzarella. You just don't know if it's pasteurised or not. It often is when you buy it in supermarkets, but if you don't know, then you don't know. Grana padano is another hard cheese often found in salads, but isn't pasteurised confused

Eating out in france is actually quite difficult when you're pregnant.

For burgers it's best to ask for the "cuisson" to be "tres tres bien cuit" which basically gets you a burger which isn't pink in the middle.

Generally if you do have to make changes to a menu item, it helps alot if you do it in french (even bad french) and if you tell them you are pregnant (which someone has translated above).

goldenhen Tue 16-Jun-15 10:36:13

I was going by the NHS guidelines that says - "Yes, hard cheeses are safe to eat during pregnancy. Although it’s possible for hard cheeses to contain listeria bacteria, they’re in such low numbers (less than one bacterium per gram of cheese) that they’re not considered to be a health risk to you or your unborn baby."

Lists gruyere (v similar to comte) as being safe even if unpasteurised.

As far as I know hard cheese is not a significant listeria risk, whether in France or UK.

Baies Tue 16-Jun-15 10:38:20

How on earth do French women manage to have babies? I'd eat what you fancied whilst avoiding very obvious hazards. A hard cheese will be absolutely fine

Steadycampaign Tue 16-Jun-15 10:39:08

Congratulations on your pregnancy!!

Not trivial at all!

If you speak the lingo, this is a list of things that French women are advised not to eat:


Gibier is game

Les croutes des fromages = cheese crusts

Graines germées crue = raw sprouting seeds such as soja or beansprouts

And it also says not to eat meat that hasn't been previously frozen (as freezing process kills parasites apparently) - not sure if this is recommendation in UK is it?

The rest is as previously mentioned:

No caffeine or alcohol

No unwashed and unpeeled fruit, veg, herbs and salads

No raw or very lightly cooked meats or fish (esp undercooked lamb)

No paté or products that come in a savoury jelly

No unpasteurised milk or cheeses (including artisan cheeses)

No raw eggs

No sea food such as lobster, crab or molluscs (snails)

And it says to take care/avoid crudités in restaurants

I notice they also prohibit chips, sauces, cakes and sweets for weight reasons!

zippyswife Tue 16-Jun-15 12:15:15

Thanks all for your replies.

I ate a tonne of the wrong cheeses and charcuterie raw eggs on pizzas and crepes and oysters before I took the pregnancy test (I was 4weeks+2 when I found out). Do you think I may have harmed the baby (not that it is a baby at this stage-but you know what I mean!). I'd completely forgotten to wash fruit and veg too.

Can I eat cooked mussels? We've been collecting them and cooking them in white wine and garlic mmmm

And Things like far Breton and flam nature that are set custard- are they ok?

I'm a bit worried.

morethanpotatoprints Tue 16-Jun-15 12:22:02

Please don't worry my love, just take the advice given from now on.
I drank lots of alcohol before knowing I was pg and certainly would have stopped if I had known, thank goodness everything was ok.
Congratulations and just use common sense and you'll be fine.
I know the risks are only slight as well, but most women don't take the at risk foods for obvious reasons. That doesn't mean to say you have caused any harm

OhEmGeee Tue 16-Jun-15 12:35:23

No you won't have harmed it, it's not even feeding off the placenta yet. At this stage it'll just be a sac and maybe a yolk (I think, trying to remember my early scan). I conceived on holiday in Italy so I was also eating all the wrong things! DS is absolutely fine!

OhEmGeee Tue 16-Jun-15 12:38:10

Oh and congratulations!

Steadycampaign Tue 16-Jun-15 12:44:09

Don't worry - all that iron from charcuterie and zinc from oysters will give your baby a flying start!! Just follow rules from now on.

Best to give mussels a miss I think (they'd most likely be fine, discarding ones that don't open etc and any in doubt - but best not to risk it I guess).

Not sure about custards - I'd be wary - depends on how set they are I reckon???

Enjoy the rest of your holiday!!

goodnessgraciousgouda Tue 16-Jun-15 12:45:29

zippy at that early stage there is little risk, and you would know if you had gotten food poisoning. The first two weeks you are totally un-pregnant anyway!

One thing I would say is to stop having the mussels with the wine sauce. The mussels themselves should be fine if you cook them properly, but alcohol used in a sauce is still very much alcoholic. You have to cook booze a long time before the alcohol content goes down, and for a sauce, you don't tend to use just a tiny splash.

cooking times

goodnessgraciousgouda Tue 16-Jun-15 12:47:06

flan nature is cooked so isn't a problem.

contractor6 Tue 16-Jun-15 14:11:01

Mussels are fine, don't pry open any closed ones. I ate loads in first trimester as was only thing I liked(for about a week). To ask of any pasteurised cheeses. Avez vous du fromage pastaurise.

Bodicea Tue 16-Jun-15 14:12:48

Personally I have ignored most of the advice on the odd occaision. I think it is a bit over the top.
The only things I def sta away from are alcohol,pate, parma ham type stuff, rare steaks and the smelliest soft cheeses.

zippyswife Tue 16-Jun-15 14:13:43

Thanks all! Dh has just returned from the boulangerie with an armful of pastries flans and a poulet roti for dinner so I won't go hungry!

Bodicea Tue 16-Jun-15 14:14:29

Plus every country has differnt rules which just goes to show....

HazleNutt Tue 16-Jun-15 14:19:32

Even in France, listeria is rare - about 5 cases per 1 000 000 people. So don't panic about the cheeses.

TreadSoftlyOnMyDreams Tue 16-Jun-15 14:20:06

Lots of the wrapped cheeses [so not from the cheese counter] in the supermarket will say if they are pasturised or not. We ate loads of brie and other soft cheeses.

MissTwister Tue 16-Jun-15 19:51:42

Don't worry at all about what you are before knowing, I drank a ton of wine!

Hard cheese is fine pasteurised or not. Brie and similar not fine whether pasteurised or not!

Also what's up with the seafood? I've eaten loads of it and its not the UK recommendation?

pollyr01 Tue 16-Jun-15 20:18:59

Hello!! I'm in France and found out this afternoon too....after eating crudités and fruits de mer for lunch, a ton of soft cheese and having drunk rather a lot past few days...�� currently wondering how to explain away my sudden non drinking to in-laws. Im surprised how much id forgotten about eating/not eating....

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