Can You Eat Gorgonzola When Pregnant? [Explained]

Sami S
Sami S

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When pregnant, indulging in food is inevitable. After all, you are eating for two.

At the same time, expectant mothers must be careful about what they eat and knowledgeable of the foods that could harm their babies.

Pregnant women are typically advised to avoid soft, unpasteurized cheese.

This article explores if you can eat gorgonzola when pregnant.

We’ll note whether gorgonzola is pasteurized, if blue cheese is safe for pregnant women, and if eating gorgonzola on pizza when pregnant poses any risk. 

Can You Eat Gorgonzola When Pregnant?

No, pregnant women should not eat uncooked gorgonzola.

Gorgonzola is a soft blue-veined cheese that holds more moisture than its counterparts. This moisture allows harmful bacteria to grow, making gorgonzola a potential breeding ground for listeria. 

According to the National Library of Medicine, listeriosis is 20 times more common in pregnancy, and 27% of listerial infections are found in pregnant women.

In expectant mothers, listeriosis can cause mild flu-like symptoms or no symptoms at all. For the fetus, however, the effects of listeriosis can be fatal.

Listeria can grow on foods like gorgonzola even if it’s been refrigerated. For this reason, expectant mothers should avoid eating gorgonzola unless it is properly cooked.

Is Gorgonzola Pasteurized? 

Yes, gorgonzola is traditionally pasteurized. 

While a common conception is that pregnant women should seek out pasteurized cheese and avoid unpasteurized soft-cheeses, gorgonzola is an exception to the rule.

Pasteurization is unable to prevent the production of adverse bacteria. Since gorgonzola has a moist consistency that bacteria like listeria loves, it hosts an unsafe environment even after pasteurization has taken place.

Can You Eat Blue Cheese While Pregnant?

Yes, you can eat blue cheese while pregnant if it is pasteurized and well-cooked.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration states that typical blue-veined cheeses are fine for pregnant women to eat as long as they are properly pasteurized. 

Many types of blue cheese are unpasteurized, so mothers-to-be will want to ensure they check the label of the product they are purchasing.

The safest way to eat blue cheese while pregnant is to purchase a pasteurized brand and cook it thoroughly.

Can You Eat Gorgonzola on Pizza When Pregnant?

Yes, you can eat gorgonzola on pizza if it is fully-cooked.

When used as a pizza topping, gorgonzola is likely subject to high temperatures in the oven.

These temperatures can cook away the potentially harmful bacteria.

Gorgonzola will need to be cooked until steaming hot, not just melted. According to Health Link BC, the cheese should reach a temperature of at least 74 degrees Celsius (165.2 degrees Fahrenheit).

Pregnant women or those cooking for pregnant women can check the temperature of the cheese with a food thermometer.

Conclusion

Expectant mothers should avoid eating raw, refrigerated gorgonzola. Even though uncooked gorgonzola is pasteurized, unlike other blue cheeses, it contains significant moisture that allows bacteria like listeria to thrive.

Pregnant women should only consider eating gorgonzola if they know that it has been thoroughly cooked in the oven, killing any bacteria in its wake.

Sources:

https://www.fda.gov/food/health-educators/listeria-food-safety-moms-be 

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/blue-cheese-pregnancy#risks 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2621056/ 

https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/pregnancy-parenting/pregnancy/healthy-eating-and-physical-activity/healthy-eating-guidelines-food 

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