Is pasteurized baked brie safe to eat when pregnant?

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Is pasteurized baked brie safe to eat when pregnant?
Brie cheese is safe if baked and pasteurised. (Französicher Brie image by Yvonne Bogdanski from Fotolia.com)

A woman should take many things into consideration regarding diet and nutrition during pregnancy. Expectant mothers should increase their intake of nutritious foods packed with vitamins and minerals for a healthy pregnancy and a healthy baby. Some foods should be left off the menu at mealtime, however. High on this list are unpasteurised soft cheeses, including Brie.

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Benefits of Cheese During Pregnancy

Cheese is a healthy way for an expectant mother to boost her intake of vitamin D and calcium. This vitamin and mineral combination is especially important in building the bones of the baby, as well as in avoiding bone loss during pregnancy. Although cheese has a high fat content, it can be an important part of a healthy, balanced prenatal diet.

Types of Cheeses

Cheeses differ in texture and flavour. There are mild cheeses such as muenster and colby as well as sharp cheeses like swiss and cheddar. Hard cheeses like Parmesan and Romano are usually added to recipes, while some softer cheeses such as Brie are milder and are eaten alone. Regardless of which of these characteristics a person prefers, all types of cheese are made from milk and are a good source of calcium.

Soft Cheeses and Pregnancy

Many soft cheeses must be pasteurised, because they can otherwise serve as a breeding ground for bacteria. Listeria bacteria, in particular, can be present in soft cheeses like Brie. Pasteurisation is a process that heats the cheese to a point at which bacteria are killed, but the cheese retains its flavour and texture. Most Brie cheeses found commercially are pasteurised, but read a product's label to know whether one has been for sure.

Warnings About Unpasteurized Cheeses

Brie cheese that is unpasteurised may be infected with Listeria bacteria. This can lead to a bacterial infection that is potentially lethal to a developing foetus. Adults can generally withstand listeriosis, but unborn babies cannot. Pregnant women are also 20 times more likely than other adults to become infected with listeriosis, primarily due to having a compromised immune system.

Preventing Lysteria During Pregnancy

Preventing listeriosis is easy for Brie-loving pregnant women. Purchasing pasteurised Brie can ensure the cheese will be Listeria free. Baking pasteurised Brie is a safe treat in which to indulge during pregnancy.

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