Can you eat mozzarella when pregnant?
The short answer is, it depends.
If you love mozzarella on a pizza, in a Caprese salad, or at its melty, stringy best in a mozzarella stick, is it time to cut it out (just for now)?
It’s a good question, because there are some cheeses you need to avoid at all costs while pregnant.
You can safely enjoy some types of mozzarella cheese during pregnancy, while others are deemed unsafe due to the way they’re prepared.
Read on to learn more about mozzarella and pregnancy.
In this article: 📝
- Is mozzarella safe in pregnancy?
- Is all mozzarella pasteurized?
- Is mozzarella cheese good for pregnancy?
- Can you eat fresh mozzarella when pregnant?
- Is mozzarella on pizza safe during pregnancy?
- Can I eat mozzarella sticks when pregnant?
- What cheeses to avoid when pregnant?
Is mozzarella safe in pregnancy?
The good news is that, yes, mozzarella is generally safe to eat during pregnancy!
As long as it’s made from pasteurized milk, which most store-bought mozzarella is, you’re good to go.
In fact, mozzarella can be a great source of calcium and protein, which are both important for a healthy pregnancy.
Of course, as with any food, it’s important to make sure you’re practicing good food safety habits.
Make sure you’re storing your mozzarella properly and only eating it if it looks and smells fresh.
And if you’re unsure about whether a particular type of mozzarella is safe to eat, ask your doctor or a registered dietitian ‒ or err on the side of caution and leave it alone for now.
But don’t stress too much about enjoying some delicious mozzarella during your pregnancy!
Just make sure you’re doing so in moderation and as part of a balanced, nutritious diet.
Is all mozzarella pasteurized?
Yes, most shop-bought cheese is pasteurized in the US.
In fact, if the mozzarella cheese is made in the USA, the FDA states that it must be pasteurized.
Examples of popular pasteurized mozzarella cheese brands you might find in your local store include Kraft, Sargento, and Galbani.
And while most mozzarella is made from cow’s milk, you may have noticed “buffalo mozzarella” available in the store.
The question is, can you eat buffalo mozzarella when pregnant?
This type of mozzarella is made from water buffalo’s milk and should be subject to the same pasteurization standards.
If you’re unsure, check the label.
If a store assistant or restaurant can’t tell you whether the cheese has been pasteurized, it’s best to avoid it for now.
What’s the deal with pasteurization?
The most important thing to look for when purchasing or eating mozzarella products is whether the cheese has been pasteurized.
Pasteurization is the process of heating dairy products to kill off harmful bacteria.
The main concern with eating unpasteurized cheese is its potential to harbor harmful bacteria such as listeria.
This could cause the condition listeriosis.
According to the FDA, the risks are ten times higher of falling ill with the condition while pregnant.
Effects can range from food poisoning to pregnancy loss.
For this reason, unpasteurized milk or cheese is banned in certain countries, such as Australia and New Zealand.
Is mozzarella cheese good for pregnancy?
And apart from being delicious and bringing some foodie joy during pregnancy, eating mozzarella in moderation also has its benefits.
Compared with other cheeses, such as cheddar, mozzarella is relatively low in calories.
Per 100 grams of mozzarella, there are just 300 calories.
It’s also a good source of protein, providing 51% of the daily value per 100 grams, and it contains essential vitamins and nutrients, including vitamins D, E, and A, and calcium.
So enjoying mozzarella as part of a balanced diet will benefit you (and bump, too!) — just make sure it’s pasteurized and stored correctly.
Can you eat fresh mozzarella when pregnant?
Some fresh cheeses should be avoided during pregnancy, but fresh mozzarella made from pasteurized milk is considered safe to eat.
So, the good news is you can still enjoy your favorite pizzas, salads, and sandwiches during pregnancy.
Most fresh mozzarella is made from pasteurized milk but always double-check the labels before eating.
Is mozzarella on pizza safe during pregnancy?
Another piece of good news is that you can eat mozzarella cheese hot or cold.
As long as the cheese is made from pasteurized milk (which most store-bought and restaurant-made pizza uses), you’re good to go.
The key is to make sure that the pizza is cooked all the way through to kill any potential bacteria.
Now, there are some things to keep in mind when it comes to pizza in general.
Avoid toppings that are more likely to contain harmful bacteria, such as raw or undercooked meats, seafood, and eggs.
Also, try to limit your intake of high-mercury fish like tuna.
But if you’re sticking to a plain cheese pizza, veggie, or a meat feast with well-cooked toppings, go ahead and indulge in some mozzarella goodness!
Just be sure to enjoy it in moderation as part of a healthy, balanced diet.
Can I eat mozzarella sticks when pregnant?
When you’re pregnant, those cravings can hit hard - and sometimes, all you want is some delicious mozzarella sticks.
But, can you eat mozzarella sticks when pregnant?
If the mozzarella sticks are made with pasteurized cheese, and are cooked to a safe internal temperature (165°F or 74°C), then they can be safe to eat during pregnancy.
However, some mozzarella sticks may use unpasteurized cheese, which can be risky for pregnant women due to the potential for harmful bacteria.
So, it’s important to make sure you know what kind of cheese is being used before you indulge.
Now, let’s talk about moderation.
While it’s okay to enjoy some mozzarella sticks every now and then, it’s important to remember that they’re not exactly the healthiest food choice.
They’re usually high in calories, fat, and sodium, so it’s best to enjoy them in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
So, go ahead and indulge in some mozzarella stick goodness!
What cheeses to avoid when pregnant?
Generally speaking, pregnant women should steer clear of soft cheeses such as feta, brie, camembert, blue-veined cheeses, or mold-ripened cheeses.
This is because softer cheese has a higher moisture content, which is an attractive environment for bacteria to multiply and thrive.
However, when it comes to mozzarella, if the cheese has been pasteurized, it’s considered safe to eat.
General food safety advice such as storing mozzarella in the fridge and not eating it past its expiry date is even more essential to follow during pregnancy.
Overall, you can definitely enjoy mozzarella when pregnant!
Just make sure you’re doing so safely and in moderation, as part of a balanced and nutritious diet.
And, as always, if you have any concerns or questions about what you’re eating during pregnancy, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor or a registered dietitian.
They’ll be able to give you personalized advice based on your individual needs.
Bon appétit, mama!