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Thread: cheeses

  1. #1

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    Question cheeses

    I know Im not allowed to eat soft cheese....but what about mozarella, feta and bocconcini?



    acorrding to my mum, she reckons these are all "soft"

    would love some opinions thanks

  2. #2

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    Hi Danni, I'm on IVF and all soft cheeses are a big no no. At this stage I would stay well away until you confirm this with the doctor - if unsure don't touch.
    Lissie

  3. #3

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    I eat fetta if its very fresh (like I have opened the pack) or its cooked.
    Mozzarella I think is fine.
    Bocconcini is the sameas fetta - I would only eat it cooked or if you are the one who has opened the packet.
    Thats just me..... I could well be wrong.

  4. #4

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    Danni
    I checked out Food Standards Australia and New Zealand website about Listeria (they are the federal government body that regulates food standards in australia). The news is not good. I think unless you are planning to cook the [email protected] out of it - its pretty out of bounds. The chances of getting Listeria are really low but IF you are unlucky enough to get it then there is a 30% fatality rate (I think this means for unborn and new babies).

  5. #5

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    Oh Danni i'm with you hun - i just went out to lunch at a beautiful Italian restaurant and had antipasto for lunch. I enviously watched Paul consume the bococcini, fetta, brie I'm a massive cheese lover and unless it's a good hard vintage cheese i'm steering clear. Just not worth the worry...*sigh* well ok maybe it is worth the worry but i still don't think i could do it - lol!

  6. #6

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    I got over my pangs for these cheeses by buying really good parmesan (block), pecorino and vintage cheddar. I do dream about brie and rare roast beef sandwiches though!!

  7. #7

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    The problem with soft cheeses if that they are not always pasteurised, whereas the hard cheeses I think always are. You just need to check to see if they're pasteurised and most Australian soft cheeses are. It's the imported ones you have to worry about. As far as I know mozzarella is not a soft cheese but not positive on that.

  8. #8

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    Ooh, I know what you mean. I went home to England for 6 weeks with the kids in August and my Dad took us to France for a week which was lovely but SOOOOO unfair! I couldn't eat any of the lovely cheese or pate and I couldn't drink bottles and bottles of beautiful wine! Oh well, worth it for a happy, healthy baby but agghhhhh!!!

  9. #9

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    The grated mozzarella that you get in the cheese section is ok, it's just when you get it from the deli in ball form you have to be careful.

  10. #10

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    There are some soft cheeses that are fine to eat like Boursin, cottage cheese, cheese spread, cream cheese, Mascarpone, Philadelphia, Quark, Ricotta. ANd obviously all of the hard cheese (cheddar, mozzarella etc) are fine too!

    So no, not all soft cheeses are out-of bounds - just blue veined cheese and mould ripened cheeses like Brie, Blue Brie, Cambozola, Camembert, Chaumes, Pont L'Eveque, Prince Jean, Tallegio. Vacherin-Fribourgeois, Weichkaese
    and
    Bavarian Blue, Bergader, Bleu d'Auvergne, Blue Shropshire, Cabrales, Danish Blue, Dolcelatte, Doppelrhamstuge, Eldel pilz, Gorgonzola, Manchego, Romano, Roncal, Roquefort, Stilton, Tommes, Wensleydale

    This info came from a listeria pamplet my obs gave me...
    Last edited by noodle; November 1st, 2006 at 12:26 PM. Reason: extra info

  11. #11

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    what about bocconcini?

    eta: and feta?

  12. #12

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    Feta is one of the worst Danni according to FSANZ.

  13. #13

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    I would stay away from boconcini and fetta unfortunately. They are very watery cheeses and I'd think the risk of them going off would be higher. Who knows how fresh it is when we buy it from the deli? It is hard to forget about them

  14. #14

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    Just ask your mum which cheeses were banned with her, as she seems to know. Oh yes, none of them were. I've had feta cheese, cooked goats cheese, ricotta cheese, cottage cheese and cheese spread and they've all been fine. It's more the pasturised/unpasturised rather than hard/soft things anyway, from the lists I've seen.

    (BTW, I didn't know I was pg when I had the goats cheese and the feta was served up in a salad when I was at a friend's for dinner, so couldn't refuse it, not that I wanted to!)

  15. #15

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    Danni
    Here is what the Australian Food Standards website says (I've added the red emphasis):

    How common is listeriosis?

    Listeriosis is a rare disease. The reported incidence of the disease is much lower than for many other foodborne diseases, but the consequences of infection are severe. In Australia there are approximately 60 cases of listeriosis notified to health authorities each year. The majority of these are in elderly patients or people who have suppressed immune systems.

    Most cases of human listeriosis are sporadic and the sources and route of infection are usually unknown, however, contaminated food is considered to be the major route of transmission. Incubation periods range from a few days up to three months.

    A small number of infections (less than 10 per year) occur in pregnant women and their unborn child. However, the true incidence is unknown as such infections are often not investigated or diagnosed. Testing is not routinely conducted on miscarried foetuses.

    How dangerous is listeriosis?

    There is evidence to suggest that Listeria is a transitory resident of the intestinal tract in humans, with 2-10% of the general population being carriers of the organism without any apparent adverse health consequences. In susceptible populations the bacteria most often affects the bloodstream, the central nervous system or the pregnant uterus.

    Manifestations of listeriosis include bacteraemia/septicaemia, meningitis, meningoencephalitis, encephalitis, miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth, neonatal disease and prodromal illness in pregnant women. Listeriosis has a high mortality rate of up to 50% for maternal-foetal infections and around 20% for non-pregnancy related infections.
    And here is what it says about food:
    Information about Listeria and food

    How does Listeria get into foods?

    Australia has a well-deserved reputation for a safe food supply and food manufacturers and processors have implemented systems designed to prevent Listeria contamination. However, Listeria is widespread in the environment and ready-to-eat foods might become contaminated after processing or at some later stage between the processing plant and the consumer’s plate. Contamination might also occur through improper hygiene of food handlers, or by cross-contamination after contact with raw foods or contaminated surfaces.

    Unlike most food poisoning bacteria, Listeria continues to grow slowly even at refrigeration temperatures. It will grow more rapidly at higher temperatures, so foods that have been kept for a long time and/or that have not been kept cold may represent a higher risk to susceptible people.

    Listeria bacteria may be present in certain types of foods such as pre-prepared uncooked foods or pre-cooked foods that have been kept for some time.

    What precautions should I take if I am ‘at risk’?

    The foods most often associated with listeriosis are ready-to-eat foods that support the growth of Listeria; have a long refrigerated shelf life; and are consumed without further listericidal treatmentsi.e.don’t receive any further processing/cooking such as reheating to 74°C for 2 minutes.

    Foods that are packaged (i.e. food fully encased in a wrap or container by the manufacturer and not intended to be unwrapped except by the final consumer) do not usually present the same risk as unpackaged food or food on open display at a delicatessen counter, smorgasbord, sandwich bar or salad bar, etc. This is because unpackaged foods are more likely to become contaminated by Listeria from other foods also on display. Also, it is not always known how long unpackaged foods have been on display.

    For people at risk of acquiring listeriosis, it is advisable to eat freshly cooked or freshly prepared foods. Freshly cooked foods are safe because cooking destroys Listeria bacteria. Also, the opportunities for contamination by Listeria is minimised as there is only a very short time before the meal is consumed. Foods should be cooked to a minimum internal temperature of 74°C to destroy the Listeria bacteria.

    Prepare foods such as fruit salads, green salads and vegetable dishes shortly before eating. Eat well washed, freshly prepared fruit and vegetables in preference to fruit and vegetable dishes that have been prepared in advance and stored chilled for long periods. Storing food in chillers does not prevent growth because Listeria will grow at refrigeration temperatures. Try to avoid stored food, as it is impossible to know by appearance, smell or taste whether food is contaminated.

    Where possible, only prepare sufficient food for the meal, and avoid the accumulation ofleftovers. Ifthereareleftovers,theyshouldberefrigeratedprompt ly. WhileListeriacangrowslowlyatlowtemperatures(<5°C), eating leftovers within a day provides limited opportunity for Listeria to grow.

    Do not eat food if there is any doubt about its hygienic preparation or storage. Refer to the good food hygiene guide in the Listeria and food – advice for people at risk pamphlet and the detailed notes later in this document.
    It then goes on to list HIGHER RISK FOODS.
    For Cheeses its says: Soft, semi-soft and surface ripened cheeses (pre-packaged and delicatessen) e.g brie, camembert, ricotta, feta, blue.

    The SAFER ALTERNATIVES for cheese are listed as:
    • Hard cheese (cheddar) stored in the fridge.
      Processed cheese, cheese spreads, plain cream cheese, plain cottage cheese purchased packaged by the manufacturer and stored in the fridge


    In other words its RUSSIAN ROULETTE. Most of the time it's going to be ok. But maybe some time it's not.

    Ryn - my understanding is the risk and prevalence is MUCH lower in the UK than in Australia. I think I read that there were only 20 cases in pregnant women per year whereas there are about 10 per year in Australia. Only our population is wincy compared to yours - so our odds here in Oz are worse.
    Last edited by Kar; November 1st, 2006 at 09:14 PM.

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