Brie cheese. An absolute delicacy with a soft, white rind and creamy interior that melts in your mouth - who can resist it? But wait! Is there a risk of eating brie while pregnant?
Expecting mothers often get confused about what to eat or avoid during pregnancy. It's especially confusing when we have conflicting opinions from our friends, family members, bloggers on the internet, and even healthcare professionals.
So here's the question – is it safe to enjoy brie cheese when you’re expecting? Let’s see if we can find some answers!
What is Brie Cheese?
Before we dive into whether or not it is safe to consume this savoury French cheese, let us first understand what brie cheese really is.
- Originated in France
- A type of soft cow's milk cheese
- Rinds composed of Penicillium molds
That furry-white coat on top gives it an earthy flavour complemented by its unique creaminess in every bite!
The Nutritional Value of Brie Cheese
As for its nutritional value:
|Nutrient||Amount per 1 oz|
|Carbs||Less than one gram|
While not exactly a protein powerhouse compared to other cheeses like cheddar or mozzarella which contain higher amounts of protein but less fat content per ounce.
Now that we know what makes up this exquisite soft-cheese wrapped parcel; let's revisit our initial query regarding safety concerns surrounding consumption whilst pregnant
Is Eating Brie While Pregnant Safe?
When expectant mothers hear phrases such as "soft" "unpasteurized," "aged," or "moldy" cheese, it can cause worry and concern. Brie cheese falls into your "soft cheese" category hence why it may be confusing.
In general, it is safer for expectant mothers to avoid consuming unpasteurized cheeses while pregnant; however, soft cheeses such as brie are a bit different from others when it comes to pasteurization methods used during production.
Soft Cheese vs. Hard Cheese
When we say "soft cheese,” the first thing that often cheers up our brain might be cream Cheeses like Boursin or Cottage Cheese – perfect for tossing in blueberries and honey on an early Sunday morning - yum!
We also have other types of soft-cheese favorites such as goat's milk Colombier or Rouge et Noir Triple Cream Brie (the latter has my heart!). And let’s not forget about Feta – a creamy favourite– even if feta isn't technically considered a “pasteurized” cheese.
Hard cheeses like cheddar, Colby jack do not pose any significant risks because they undergo rigorous processes called 'pasteurization.'
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), pasteurization heats milk long enough to kill most bacteria responsible for illness. Whereas artisanal or small-batch producers who manufacture raw-milk products opt against using pasteurisation technique exposing consumers more susceptible bacteria growth while maintaining its flavour profile features bolder tones with greater depth complexity
Thus, one primary source of risk concerning the consumption of many unpasteurised dairy products lies in their potential exposure to harmful microbes that are sometimes found in raw milk. So far so good?! Don't worry! The rest is simple too!
There haven’t been recent studies regarding the risks associated with eating brie while expecting. Nonetheless, various health organizations provide specific recommendations:
- According to The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, expectant mothers should altogether steer clear of unpasteurized cheeses, such as brie.
- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends pregnant women to avoid all kinds of soft cheese varieties that are not made with pasteurized milk.
In summary, while we don’t yet have hard scientific evidence on whether it is safe or not to eat Brie while pregnant, most health professionals recommend avoiding it due to the potential risk stemming from its production method along with exposure regarding mould buildup. Remember: ‘It's better safe than sorry’.
What Happens If You Eat Unpasteurised Cheese during Pregnancy?
Let us address the elephant in the room! What happens if a pregnant woman eats cheese that has been made from raw or unpasteurised milk? Can one enjoy their favourite charcuterie board without worrying about its origin story?!
The CDC reports there is an increased chance of falling ill by eating cheeese manufactured using untreated or under-treated milk which contains Listeria monocytogenes (LM) – specifically dangerous bacteria causing “listeriosis” amongst affected victims.
While you may feel fine after enjoying your deli lunch - LM infections usually start between 1-4 weeks following infection but can occur as late as 70 days post-exposure.
However please note again eating pasteurized versions presents much lower risks making it favorable during pregnancy.
Now let’s discuss symptoms caused by this bacterium strain "Listeria." Common side effects (like nobody asked) are similar to flu-like symptoms :
- Vomiting alongside pain on both ends!!! I mean really who wants any complaints more coming...amiright!
So now what?! Here are some precautions you can take:
- Hep A vaccine
- Avoid food containing raw poultry products.
- Refrigerate leftovers promptly.
- Cook meat and poultry thoroughly.
Just settle for a nice hard cheese - like Cheddar or Gouda. when you feel yourself craving for some ‘cheesy-goodness during your pregnancy journey!
So coming to the answer to our initial question: is it safe to eat brie while pregnant?
It's safer not…although no certain study findings suggest any detrimental effects of consuming Brie during this time, it’s best to avoid soft cheeses made with unpasteurized milk!
However, if all you can think about is that creamy bite –no matter what life throws at you – then consume pasteurised versions for less risk against developing Listeria.. By eating recommended perfect alternatives like Feta or Roquefort Camembert should satisfy those taste buds cravings without potentially risking harm towards their child.
Remember folks always err on the side of safety, enjoying cheeese-alternatives won’t jeopardize anyone's health—including yours as an expecting mother. May your pregnancy journey complete with delights whether savoury or sweet be ever satisfying and memorable! Till next time; stay cheesy!