Can You Eat Havarti Cheese When Pregnant? [Explained]

Verified by Kimberly Langdon M.D.
Verified by Kimberly Langdon M.D.

Kimberly Langdon is an obstetrician/gynecologist with 19 years of clinical experience and graduated from The Ohio State University, College of Medicine.

Pregnant women are always cautious about their snacks, as some may not be suitable or safe for the developing baby. However, one particular topic is getting a buzz lately – Harvati cheese.

Harvati cheese is often found in Danish cuisine. It is a semi-soft cheese with a creamy texture and mild, sweet flavor. 

Havarti cheese contains 9% fat, which is relatively low for a cheese. But the issue here is not really about the fat content but rather the foodborne disease you can get from uncooked or unpasteurized dairy products. 

So, can you eat Harvati cheese when pregnant?

Can you eat Havarti cheese when pregnant?

Yes, it’s safe to eat Harvati cheese when pregnant as long as it’s pasteurized and cooked. Pasteurized dairy products have been heated to a high temperature to kill harmful bacteria, making them safe for pregnant women and their developing babies. 

On the other hand, unpasteurized Harvati cheese may pose a risk of foodborne illness. If you’re unsure whether the Havarti cheese you have is pasteurized, you can check the label or ask the cheesemonger at your local grocery store.

Moreover, you’ll also have to ensure that your Harvati cheese is cooked. Havarti cheese is often melted, such as in fondue or gratins.

Pasteurized and cooked Harvati cheese are primarily necessary to avoid Listeria, a food poisoning caused by contaminated or raw food. Pregnant women are ten times more likely to get sick from 

Listeria than the general population. The CDC estimates that there are 1,600 cases of listeriosis in the United States each year, and about 260 of those cases are fatal, particularly for pregnant women and their developing babies.

So, to be on the safe side, make sure that the Havarti cheese you’re eating is pasteurized and cooked before indulging. And as always, consult with your doctor or healthcare provider if you have any issues.

What cheeses can a pregnant woman not eat?

There are a few types of cheeses that pregnant women should avoid, as they may contain harmful bacteria. These include:

  • Unpasteurized cheese like feta, Brie, Camembert, queso Blanco, queso fresco, and panela
  • Soft cheeses with mold, like blue cheese and Gorgonzola
  • Processed cheese like American cheese and Velveeta

These cheeses may contain Listeria monocytogenes, a type of bacteria that can cause food poisoning. 

As mentioned, pregnant women are more prone to Listeria than the general population. So, avoiding these cheeses altogether during pregnancy is best to reduce the risk for you and your baby.


Yes, you can eat Harvati cheese as long as it’s pasteurized and cooked. Always check the label or with the cheesemonger at your grocery store to double-check. 

You won’t need to worry about the fat content as it’s relatively low. 

However, avoid unpasteurized and moldy cheeses during pregnancy, as they may contain harmful bacteria that can cause food poisoning. 

If you have any concerns, always consult with your healthcare provider.