There is growing concern about the intake of cheese during pregnancy, as some species of cheese have been constantly connected to food borne infections, especially Listeriosis. With a huge selection and different kinds the cheeses, it can be difficult to store up regarding which ones are safe to eat.

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Blue cheese has been implicated in a number of outbreaks connected with Listeriosis infections. Because of this, CDC has actually recommended against its usage for all high-risk populace groups, including pregnant women. However, blue cheese do from pasteurized milk and also thoroughly cooking dishes with blue cheese deserve to be safely consumed throughout pregnancy.


Table of Contents hide
What is Blue Cheese?
just how is Blue Cheese Made?
What room the benefits of eat Blue Cheese?
Listeriosis from consumption of Blue Cheese
just how to prevent Listeriosis epidemic
last Thoughts

What is Blue Cheese?


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Blue cheese is a mold-ripened cheese that is normally made through unpasteurized milk. It is additionally sometimes called “bleu cheese” or “blue-veined cheese.”

It is recognized for its blue shade, extreme smell and also distinctive flavor. It is a continual ingredient in salad dressings and also sauces, and may likewise be offered with fruits, nuts and other type of cheese. Several of the most famed varieties of blue cheese are French Roquefort, English Stilton, Spanish Cabrales, Danish Danablue or Italian Gorgonzola (Ropars et al., 2017).


How is Blue Cheese Made?

According come the U.S. Food and also Drug management (US FDA, 2020), blue cheese is “characterized by the presence of bluish-green mold, Penicillium roqueforti, throughout the cheese.” Penicillium roqueforti is a fungus provided as a starter society to do blue cheese worldwide. The is responsible for the flavor and color of blue cheese (Gillot et al., 2015), and also the distinguishing blue and also green veins and spots (Ropars et al., 2017).

Specific requirements for blue cheese set forth through the us FDA (2020) incorporate the following:

Minimum milkfat contents is 50 percent by load of the solidsMaximum moisture contents is 46 percent by weightDairy ingredients supplied (milk, nonfat milk, cream) might be pasteurizedRennet or various other clotting enzymes are added to set the ingredients into a semisolid massBlue cheese is at the very least 60 work oldEach ingredient used should be asserted on the label

The strains that Penicillium used to produce blue cheese carry out not develop patulin, a mycotoxin the is harmful to humans, and are thought about safe come eat (Ogawa et al., 2014). In ~ the start of the process of cheesemaking, Penicillium is added into the cheese curds (Ropars et al., 2017) when they are being drained and rolled right into wheels.

After enough drainage, the shaped curd is salted with dry salt or brine. Perforations room made in the curd and also held at temperature of around 50 levels Fahrenheit at 90 to 95 percent loved one humidity for the properties mold expansion to build (US FDA, 2020). The blue cheese is climate aged for approximately 3 months before it becomes all set for consumption.


What room the benefits of eat Blue Cheese?

Cow’s milk and also dairy products are major sources that calcium, phosphorus, choline, riboflavin, and vitamins B12 and A. In the unified States, dairy products products provide around 72% the calcium needs (Facioni et al., 2020).

Blue cheese consists of high concentrations of Andrastins A, B, C and D, metabolites the Penicillium roqueforti. They space potent inhibitors the farnesyltransferase, which is a major enzyme in the biosynthesis that cholesterol (Visioli & Strata, 2014).

Andrastin A additionally exhibits strong anti-tumor properties (Nielsen et al., 2005). Yasuda et al. In 2010 demonstrated the blue cheese was capable of suppressing cabinet growth, and also inducing apoptosis in DNA-damaged cells and also nucleic morphological change, in person leukemic cells.

Other reported wellness benefits of spend blue cheese are:

Reduced threat of osteoporosisPrevention of obesityDecreased hazard of cardiovascular disease

Listeriosis from consumption of Blue Cheese

Majority that blue cheeses room made making use of unpasteurized milk. Unpasteurized dairy assets are at high hazard for contamination with Listeria monocytogenes. Together reported by Jackson et al. In 2018, a survey of different soft cheeses (Latin-style, blue cheese, mold-ripened) evidenced the visibility of Listeria in 1.3 percent the those do from unpasteurized milk or room unlabeled, and also 0.5 percent that those make from pasteurized milk.

L. Monocytogenes reasons the food borne an illness Listeriosis. This bacter can thrive at refrigerator temperatures of 4 to 10 degrees Celsius. Also freezing has little damaging effect on this microbe (Bortolussi, 2008).

On the various other hand, the procedure of pasteurization effectively kills Listeria. However, failure to acquire the required temperature in huge packages can allow this biology to survive. Moreover, cheeses can be contaminated ~ milk pasteurization through the arrival of unpasteurized ingredients throughout its handling (Bortolussi, 2008).

Listeriosis is a rarely illness, however is 20 times much more common in pregnant women compared to the general populace (Choi et al., 2016). Listeriosis can present as fever, human body pains, stomach upset and also headaches. Symptoms are regularly mild and the condition may not also be recognized. Nevertheless, L. Monocytogenes can cross the placenta and can result in severe condition or fetal death (Janakiraman, 2008). That can an outcome in miscarriage, premature birth birth, maternal and also neonatal sepsis, and also infant fatality (Moran et al., 2018).

More major symptoms in pregnant women include stiff neck, confusion, convulsions and loss the balance (Janakiraman, 2008). These may be indications that Listeria has entered the central nervous system (CNS), where it can reason the following (Disson & Lecuit, 2012):

Bacterial meningitis – inflammation of fluid and meninges around the brain and spinal cordMeningoencephalitis – inflammation of mind and meningesRhombencephalitis – inflammation the brainstem and also cerebellum

How to avoid Listeriosis Infection

Any blue cheese that made use of life milk need to be avoided throughout pregnancy. As recommended by the Centers for condition Control and Prevention (CDC), all pregnant women must not eat soft cheese (feta, brie, camembert), blue-veined cheeses, or Mexican-style cheeses (queso blanco, queso fresco, Panela) that were make from unpasteurized milk (Lamont et al., 2011).

This includes blue cheese dressings, which often combines blue cheese v mayonnaise and other ingredients that might not have actually undergone pasteurization. Therefore, these need to be avoided by pregnant women as well.

Then again, part blue cheeses space made indigenous pasteurized milk. Pregnant women have the right to look in ~ the product brand to check. These have the right to be for sure consumed throughout pregnancy together pasteurized dairy products are more secure from Listeria contamination.

In addition, food preparation is another method to kill the microorganism L. Monocytogenes. Due to the fact that of this, fully cooked dishes that supplied blue cheese as an ingredient are safe come eat throughout pregnancy.

According come the NHS (2020), species of cheese that are safe because that pregnant females to consume include:

Thoroughly cooked unpasteurized soft cheeses, till steaming hotThoroughly cooked soft cheeses v rind, till steaming hotThoroughly cooked blue cheeses, till steaming hot

Meanwhile, the complying with cheeses space advised to it is in avoided throughout pregnancy (NHS, 2020) to prevent Listeriosis infection:

Mold-ripened soft cheeses through rind – brie, camembert, chèvre (unless cooked till steaming hot)Blue cheese – danish blue, gorgonzola, Roquefort (unless cooked till steaming hot)Any unpasteurized cow’s, goat’s or sheep’s milk

Final Thoughts

Blue cheese is a soft cheese that is ripened v the mold Penicillium roqueforti. It is much more often made v unpasteurized milk, placing it at high risk of being contaminated v Listeria monocytogenes and also causing the infection Listeriosis.

Listeriosis have the right to be a dangerous infection in pregnant women and can lead to fetal or infant death. Therefore, blue cheese and also all assets that contain it together an ingredient must be avoided throughout pregnancy.

Still, some blue cheeses space made with pasteurized milk. The process of pasteurization death L. Monocytogenes. Likewise, thorough food preparation can render blue cheese for sure to eat. Hence, blue cheese make from pasteurized milk, and cooked dishes v blue cheese, have the right to be safe consumed throughout pregnancy.

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It is an excellent advice because that pregnant ladies to be cautious about eating different species of cheese. In the same way, checking product labels prior to purchasing is a great practice throughout pregnancy. Talk to a medical professional or professional is the best way to minimize pregnant women’s concerns around food consumption.


NHS. (2020). Foods items to stop in pregnancy. Https://www.nhs.uk/pregnancy/keeping-well/foods-to-avoid/Nielsen, K. F., Dalsgaard, P. W., Smedsgaard, J., & Larsen, T. O. (2005). Adrastins A-D, Penicillium roqueforti metabolites consistently developed in blue-mold-ripened cheese. Journal of agricultural and Food Chemistry 53(8), 2908-2913. Doi: 10.1021/jf047983uU.S. Food & drug Administration. (2020). CFR: code of federal regulations title 21. Https://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/cdrh/cfdocs/cfcfr/CFRSearch.cfm?fr=133.106Yasuda, S., Ohkura, N., Suzuki, K., Yamasaki, M., Nishiyama, K., Kobayashi, H., …, & Igoshi, K. (2010). Results of extremely ripened cheeses on HL-60 human leukemia cells: Antiproliferative task and induction that apoptotic DNA damage. Journal of Dairy scientific research 93(4), 1393-1400. Doi: 10.3168/jds.2009-2696