Confused about Foods to Avoid Whilst Pregnant.. - NCT

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Confused about Foods to Avoid Whilst Pregnant..

FreddiePats profile image
10 Replies

Hi all,

just wondering if anyone has experienced any confusion about pasteurised cheeses and fruit juices.

The NHS website & NCT website mention avoiding unpasteurised soft or semi soft cheeses. From the NHS website I’ve read that unpasteurised hard cheese like cheddar is ok. However, I have received some pregnancy care advice from my IVF clinic which says to avoid unpasteurised hard cheese.

Also - I’ve seen many websites saying to avoid unpasteurised fruit juice. Nothing about this on the NHS or NCT websites..

Has anyone else had the same query & had this cleared up?

Many thanks in advance!

10 Replies
Purpledoggy profile image
Purpledoggy

Hard cheese is much less likely to harbour Listeria than soft cheese as the bacteria require moisture to thrive. Unpasteurised hard cheese is low risk whereas soft is high risk. However, anything unpasteurised is not zero risk, whereas pasteurised cheese essentially is zero risk unless stored poorly ie contaminated after manufacture. I can understand an IVF clinic being ultra cautious given what we go through to get our IVF babies - to keep your risk of listeriosis as low as possible avoid anything unpasteurised, including orange juice etc. My clinic didn't offer any advice on what to eat and drink but I am involved with clinical microbiology as part of my job so I opted on the side of being over rather than under cautious. (Having said this, I was eating smoked salmon as the NHS said it was fine, and I thought it was too, only to find out a listeriosis outbreak in smoked salmon was going on while I was pregnant and it is no longer recommended while pregnant🤦‍♀️.) xx

FreddiePats profile image
FreddiePats in reply to Purpledoggy

Hi Purpledoggy, thanks so much for your reply! I really appreciate it. I will definitely air on the side of over caution rather than under. Sorry to hear that about the smoked salmon - it’s a bit of a worry that it wasn’t added to the NHS website, I’m sure a lot of people mostly rely on their website for this info (at least I was until now, anyway)! I initially got concerned about the juice thing as the NHS website mentions tinned fruit counting towards your 5 a day. Then I read elsewhere about avoiding unpasteurised juice.. which of course the tinned fruit is stored in. I’m only about 4 weeks along so finding it a bit of a minefield at the moment 😂 xx

Purpledoggy profile image
Purpledoggy in reply to FreddiePats

Tinned fruit should be almost sterile as the canning process kills bacteria, similar to pasteurisation (both use heat to kill bacteria). So, even if the juice was unpasteurised to start with, it won’t be following canning. Tinned fruit should actually be safer than raw, although in general the risk from fruit should be low, particularly peeled fruit. I would try not to get too hung up on it-the NHS guidelines should really be the gold standard and it’s important to have a varied diet while pregnant, so don’t avoid too much, just be sensible xx

FreddiePats profile image
FreddiePats in reply to Purpledoggy

thank you! That’s great to know. Phew! Xx

Sunnyday33 profile image
Sunnyday33

If you buy products from the supermarket they will be pasteurised.

FreddiePats profile image
FreddiePats in reply to Sunnyday33

hi Sunnyday, I thought that but it seems like a lot of Lidls dairy products are not labelled as being pasteurised. So far I’ve had the best luck with Sainsbury’s, so it looks like I’ll be switching over to them for dairy.

sj482 profile image
sj482

I am 17 weeks and have realised I put unpasteurised orange juice into my Xmas cake - should be ok as was then cooked long and low! But I think I drank some! Having done ivf I am now panicking I thought going for all the fresh stuff was best! However no mention of juice in my book, on tommys or on nhs. Usa seem to be super hot on everything and the advice varies between countries! The only juggle I have is that I got awful cramps and diarrhoea for two days but put it down to not being able to eat beef - had that two days in a row - it was several days after drinking the juice

FreddiePats profile image
FreddiePats in reply to sj482

Oh gosh, so sorry if this thread has made you panic! I plan to ask my GP about it for sure but I feel reassured from the comments above, I expect that juice is generally low risk or else it would have been on the NHS website. Perhaps get in touch with your clinic or GP to see what they have to say about it? Just fyi, I went to the Supermarket last night, I’m pretty sure I read on the Innocent Juice cartons that they are pasteurised. Maybe check that out next time you shop? (Expensive though! 🙈) x

sj482 profile image
sj482 in reply to FreddiePats

I was already worried and this has calmed me a bit! Tbf after I drank it I had my 16 week check and a heart beat was heard! :)

FreddiePats profile image
FreddiePats in reply to sj482

that’s great news, really pleased for you ☺️🥳

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