Q&A: Can you eat feta when pregnant?

Posted in Healthy Pregnancy, Pregnancy FAQs and tagged , .

Question & Answer

Feta is one of those great cheeses to add to a salad, frittata, pizza or even just to eat as a snack. It’s super tasty and it goes with so many different things so it’s little wonder you may be keen to know if it’s ok to eat while you’re pregnant.

Can I eat feta while pregnant?

Feta is one of those grey areas when it comes to pregnancy food safety. Many countries now say it’s fine to eat, but the Australian guidelines still tend to recommend against consuming feta while pregnant.

Technically speaking, most feta on the market in Australia is made from pasteurised milk and therefore should be ok. However, it’s still classed as a soft cheese, which is why it’s often found on the lists of things to avoid. All soft cheeses are considered a listeria risk so they’re probably best avoided where possible.

But I’m really craving feta, is there a way that I can still eat it?

If feta is one of your all-time favourite foods, or you’ve just suddenly found it to be something you’re craving, don’t worry, there is a safe way to eat feta cheese while pregnant. The trick? You just have to cook it. And luckily for us all, feta tastes great cooked too!

You can easily add feta to your pizza toppings, tarts or quiches, or even bake it whole. According to the NSW Food Authority, as long as the internal temperature reaches 75 degrees celsius you can consider your feta listeria free.

Is feta good for me and my baby?

As a dairy product, feta contains protein, calcium and B vitamins. Like most cheeses, it is high in fat and salt, but, because you don’t tend to eat as much of it as say, big slices of cheddar or Edam, it’s generally considered a healthier choice.

If you have accidentally consumed some uncooked feta, try not to stress too much. The chances of any listeria bacteria being present on commercially available Australian feta is quite slim. If you feel unwell afterwards it’s always best to check with your doctor.

Otherwise, cook that feta up and enjoy as part of your healthy pregnancy diet!

About to have a baby?

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