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Is cream cheese pasteurized? Why or why not?

The cream cheese. Whether you use it to make frosting for your red velvet cake or just spread it on your morning bagel, this crowd-pleaser is sure to satisfy your craving for delicious comfort food.

And speaking of cravings, if you’re pregnant, you may find this treat — whether used in sweet or savory dishes — even more irresistible. Nonetheless, you may have heard that soft cheeses should be avoided when pregnant.

This raises the issue of whether you can consume cream cheese while pregnant. The answer is, in general, yes (cue the applause from all you cheesecake fans out there!) with a few things to consider.

You’ve probably been warned about soft cheese during pregnancy — like Brie, Camembert, chèvre, and others — but the thing is, cream cheese isn’t actually in this category. Well, it’s soft, but that’s because it’s a spread.

Cream cheese is often produced using cream, although it may also be created with a cream and milk mixture. The cream or cream and milk are pasteurized — which means they’re heated to temperatures that kill pathogens (“bad” bacteria) and make it safe for consumption. It is then curdled, often by the addition of lactic acid bacteria (“good” bacteria).

Next, cream cheese manufacturers heat the curds and add stabilizers and thickeners to give the spread its smooth texture.

Pasteurization of the cream is the critical stage in the production of American cream cheese that makes it safe for pregnant women to ingest.

As previously stated, the heating procedure destroys dangerous germs. This includes listeria bacteria, which can cause a dangerous infection in those with weaker immune systems like newborns, older adults, and — you guessed it — pregnant people.

So, cream cheese lovers, rejoice: it’s okay to eat while pregnant.

We couldn’t discover a single store-bought cream cheese that used raw, unpasteurized cream. Presumably, though, such a product might be out there. Similarly, you may find instructions for producing your own cream cheese from raw cream.

Also, there are products similar to cream cheese in other nations that may include raw dairy. Probably the most notable example is Neufchâtel cheese, which comes from France and is made with unpasteurized milk.

So if your friend brings you back French Neufchâtel cheese and a bottle of French wine, you’ll need to take a pass on both — at least until your bun is out of the oven. (It should be noted that American varieties of Neufchâtel cheese are pasteurized and hence safe.)

If you’re pregnant, don’t eat cream cheese prepared from unpasteurized cream or milk. It can lead to listeriosis, an infection caused by the Listeria monocytogenes bacterium and one that poses serious risks to you and your developing baby.

Pay attention to the expiration date

Additionally, cream cheese does not have a lengthy shelf life. So pay attention to the expiration date or consume it within 2 weeks of purchase, whichever comes first.

Resist sneaking a taste with your spreading knife and then going back in for more – this introduces germs that may grow and flourish, producing microbial contamination and hastening the deterioration of the food.

Like many cheeses and cheese spreads, cream cheese contains a lot of fat. 1 ounce of the most common brand, Kraft Philadelphia cream cheese, has 10 grams of fat, 6 of which are saturated. This amounts to a stunning 29 percent of your daily recommended saturated fat intake.

Fat isn’t the enemy when you’re pregnant — in fact, you need fat to grow a baby! But, eating too much may raise your risk of problems such as gestational diabetes.

Eat cream cheese on rare occasions. There are also whipped varieties that have the same great taste but contain less fat.

Cream cheese isn’t actually a soft cheese — it’s a cheese spread made with pasteurized dairy. As a result, pregnant women may eat it safely.

Of course, whether pregnant or not, pay attention to expiry dates and ingredients while deciding what to consume. For all stages of life, including pregnancy, it’s best to consume a nutrient-dense diet rich in whole foods like vegetables, fruits, and healthy fat and protein sources.

But, a little cream cheese spread on a toasted bagel may go a long way toward fulfilling a need — so plunge in, knowing it’s completely safe for you and baby.

Related Questions

  • Is Philadelphia cream cheese pasteurized?

    Can I eat Philly when pregnant? Philadelphia is a pasteurized item. Unpasteurized cheese is not recommended for pregnant women.

  • Can you eat Philadelphia cream cheese if pregnant?

    The issue with soft cheese when pregnant. Soft cheeses are considered unsafe for pregnant women and should be avoided, even if produced with pasteurized milk. This is because soft cheeses may be exposed to and contaminated by a deadly bacteria known as listeria during the production process.

  • What brand of cream cheese is pasteurized?

    Additional brands you may be interested in are: Dairylea Cheese – Everything in the Dairylea range uses pasteurized milk, so Dairylea is also safe during pregnancy. All of the Kraft cream cheeses (including Old English Cheddar) are pasteurized and pregnancy-safe.

  • What does it mean if cheese is not pasteurized?

    Unpasteurized cheeses are manufactured from raw milk or non-pasteurized milk. Raw milk has not been heated to a temperature sufficient to kill pathogens, which can still be present in cheese. Unpasteurized cheese consumption may result in foodborne disease with gastrointestinal symptoms.