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Thread: Parmesan Cheese

  1. #1
    Melinda Guest

    Default Parmesan Cheese

    OK....I know I asked someone this not long ago but I can't remember who and what they said (dang preggie brain! LOL).

    So.....does anybody know if it's ok to eat parmesan cheese whilst PG? It's not something I normally eat, but I have a recipe that has it listed as an ingredient, so was just wanting to be safe.


  2. #2

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    i eat the shreaded parmesan cheese all the time Melinda - I thought parmesan was a hard cheese not a soft cheese so I would have thought that so long as you apply the general health strategies about food being fresh and in controlled cold climate it should be fine, as with any normal block cheese.

    someone else may be able to confirm or deny this

  3. #3

    Default

    I think parma would be ok because its a hard cheese.
    With Ricotta I use it for cooking because the heating would kill any listeria but I wouldn't eat it cold.

  4. #4

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    You are actually allowed to eat any cheese during pregnancy as long as it's pasturised. Ricotta is fine anyway, as long as it's from a container, not the one sitting in the deli. That goes for most things. But with soft cheeses if they're pasturised (which all australian cheeses are) then it's ok xo

  5. #5

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    What Meg says is right, all Aussie cheese is pasturised, thats why there was a fuss a few months back about importing french cheeses because they don't pasturise them. If you're not sure, just check the labels.

  6. #6

    Default

    As everyone else has said parmsean cheese should be fine to eat. I have eaten in throughout this pregnancy. I couldn't eat my pasta without it.

  7. #7

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    With the soft cheeses, I just stick to this - as long as it's pasturised and it's cold (as in straight from the fridge) or steaming hot, I eat it if I feel like it. If it's been sitting out for a while and got to room temperature, then I wont. Don't know if my doc would approve, but I don't eat it very often, and only in small amounts.

  8. #8

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    Mel,
    The what you can eat thing is a bit of a minefield isn't it. ANZFAS has all the information, but even that can take a bit of deciphering...

    The reason for the soft cheese thing is that the Listeria bacteria likes to grow in the moist soft cheese environment.

    As for Parmesan it is a hard cheese and as long as it is Australian it is safe to eat. Some imported hard cheeses are not pasturised. As a rule of thumb 'they' say you should steer clear of all unpasturised products.

    Ricotta and feta are advised as a no go zone. Often they are made from unpasturised milk. Even if they are not they have the 'potential' to grow the bacteria Listeria. (remembering that Listeria doesn't just grow on dairy products it likes the moist environment of pre prepared salads etc too)

    I spoke to ANZFAS (there is a 1800 #) a couple of years ago when I was pregnant and a friend told me Listeria can grow in rice (as in nori rolls). I was told by this spokes person that Listeria potentially grows in all soft cheeses, it is especially likely with cheeses that have the mould covering such as Brie and Cammembert. Feta and Ricotta I was also advised not to eat. All of these products can be eaten if cooked and served piping hot.
    So, anything you would put in a lasagne would be fine as you cook it and eat it hot...


    I am very careful with what I eat as I think it is always better to be safe than sorry but I think we need to remember that Listeria infection is quite rare. It does happen so we need to be careful but it is something that doesn't happen very often. (maybe that is because we are all so careful, who knows?). Eleven years ago when I was pregnant with Ruby I ate truckloads of Brie (I couldn't get enough!). I had feta cheese in my salads at least 3 times a week! Back then it wasn't really as understood. I was never told not to eat soft cheeses and we were living in a culture that cheese was a huge part of the diet.

    If you have a look at the deli at the supermarket you can see why there is the potential for bacteria risks. I have seen staff handle the bacon and then the olives, so potentially transfer anything that was growing, not to mention the raw meat to a food you eat out of the container. As for those salad bars, I have always thought they were a bit ordinary and you may have heard up here in Qld this week a woman was arrested for poisoning the salad bar at Sizzler with rat poison - very scary!

    To the best of my knowledge what I have said is accurate but let me know if you hear otherwise. Attitudes and opinions change all of the time. I know the other thing that you should stay away from is chilled seafood, like cold cooked prawns and smoked salmon (not from a tin but the fillets you can buy in a packet).

    Looks like it's just vegemite sangers for us for a while!

    Love to you,
    Deb

  9. #9
    lucysmummie Guest

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    Hey I read in one of my pregnancy books that putting parmasen cheese on your vegies at night can reduce calve cramping and other weird and wonderful pregnancy cramps.....

    I thinks its a hard cheese so it should be fine..... I love parmasen cheese on bread under the gril so I dont think I could live without that for much long...

  10. #10

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    Tulip, The reason your caregivers say to steer clear is because Listeria will and does grow on cheeses that are pasturised. Outbreaks are just as common on pasturised products. It is the moisture content and the Ph of the cheese that make it an environment that Listeria likes. The mould on the Brie and Cammembert is a nice place for Listeria to grow also. Keep in mind that the Listeria bacteria requires a very cold environment to grow. Refridgerators are places that Listeria loves. That is why cooking any of these products kills the bacteria.

    In my notes that I took from the guy from the food authority he said to avoid Ricotta, broccino and Ricotone cheese because of the high moisture content it was a Listeria risk. Feta presents a lower risk but there is still a greater risk than cheddars etc.

    In addition he advised to stay away from anything you purchase from a deli fridge because of the risk of cross infection. He said prepackaged ricottas and fetas had a slightly lower risk than those same cheeses purchased through a deli fridge but because of the nature of these cheeses they are a Listeria risk and should be avoided by pregnant women.

    Pre packaged cream cheese, cottage cheese and neufchatel cheese is deemed safe. Again this is to do with the moisture content and the ph and I believe the temperature the cheese is heated to during it's making.
    I think the phone number for this organisation is under the Food Standards Authority and I imagine there would be a website.

    Love to you,
    Deb

  11. #11

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    I am happy I helped. But remember ricotta is safe if it is cooked so using it in lasagne would be fine. Listeria is killed by heat.
    Love,
    Deb

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