If you are a fan of burrata cheese – and I’ll confess straight up it’s one of my absolute favorite foods – then you are probably wondering if you are going to have to give up this delicious cheese while expecting.
Many moms-to-be know that it’s safe to eat hard cheese during pregnancy, but given burrata is a soft cheese, you may be asking yourself if it’s something you should avoid eating while pregnant.
The good news is burrata cheese is generally safe for pregnant women to eat, provided all the ingredients have been pasteurized.
But what about if the cheese is not pasteurized, but you cook it until it’s piping hot – is that safe?
And how common is it to find unpasteurized cheese in the shops?
Let’s find out.
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Can You Eat Burrata When Pregnant?
But when it comes to soft cheeses, things are more complicated.
Knowing this, your next question is likely to be is burrata a soft cheese, and when it comes to the purposes of pregnancy safety the answer is yes, burrata is classified as a soft cheese
So if you want to safely give in to your craving and eat some while pregnant, you should ensure either:
- The cheese is made using pasteurized ingredients, which means the cheese and cream or milk in the burrata are all pasteurized, or
- If the cheese is not pasteurized, it should be cooked until it is steaming or piping hot.
Why Does This Matter?
Before you started trying for a baby or became pregnant, there’s a good chance you were fairly relaxed about food safety matters and you just used a good dose of common sense to avoid food poisoning.
In your pre-pregnancy days you probably ate meat and steak exactly how you like it, and didn’t think twice about eating seafood such as octopus, eating dried meat like beef jerky or having a sandwich made with deli meat.
But during pregnancy it’s important to avoid an infection called listeriosis, which is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.
There’s a chance that unpasteurised dairy products like ice cream or yogurt may contain bacteria that can cause listeriosis, and while the chance is small, it’s certainly not worth taking as it could lead to miscarriage or stillbirth, or make your newborn baby seriously ill,
Is Burrata Pasteurized?
While most types of burrata that you will find in the shops is indeed pasteurized, you should never automatically assume all varieties are pasteurized.
For example if you are on vacation in Italy during your pregnancy then it’s important to note that some artisan producers use unpasteurized milk to create their cheese, and even though the burrata may be made with very hot water, it may still not be technically hot enough to fully pasteurize the cheese.
Thankfully rules for US made cheese are more strict however, which we’ll cover now.
Is Burrata Pasteurized In The US?
According to FDA guidelines, burrata that is made in the United States must be produced from pasteurized ingredients before it can be sold to the public.
For this reason you might want to stick to packaged, store-bought burrata during your pregnancy, because you can have more certainty about how the cheese is made.
There’s a chance that versions purchased from a smaller independent cheese shop or farmer’s market might be subject to less stringent controls.
So if you are considering buying your cheese from these places, it’s a good idea to ask specific questions about the production process and particularly if they can be absolutely certain the cheese was made from pasteurized milk.
Can You Cook Burrata?
As we saw above, one way to make unpasteurized soft cheese safe for pregnant women is by cooking it until piping hot.
But can you actually cook the stuff, or is it best served raw?
Many chefs will tell you the best way to eat burrata is at room temperature (take it out of the refrigerator about 20 minutes before eating), because this is when it has the most flavor.
However, there are many tasty recipes out there that call for baked or oven cooked burrata, so you don’t necessarily have to eat it raw or at room temperature.
Conclusion: Is Burrata Safe During Pregnancy?
- Burrata is a soft cheese, meaning if you want to eat it during pregnancy you should ensure it’s either made with pasteurized ingredients, or it is cooked until piping hot.
- Burrata is made from mozzarella cheese and milk, so to be safe both the cheese and the milk should be pasteurized.
- You should not assume that all burrata is pasteurized, especially when eating the cheese overseas.
- According to FDA rules, burrata that is produced in the USA must be made with pasteurized ingredients, so US-made burrata cheese is therefore safe for pregnant women to eat.