Can Pregnant Women Eat Ricotta Cheese? Is It Safe?

When it comes to eating healthily during pregnancy, many women have questions about what foods are safe to eat. As a pregnant woman, it is important to make sure you’re following a healthy and balanced diet that meets all your nutritional needs. One food item that comes up a lot in discussions about healthy eating for pregnant women is ricotta cheese. But can pregnant women consume ricotta cheese safely during pregnancy? To answer this question, it’s important to understand the nutritional value and potential risks associated with ricotta cheese. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the nutritional content of ricotta cheese and discuss the potential risks of consuming it while pregnant. We will also provide some helpful tips on how to enjoy ricotta cheese while minimizing the potential risks.

Is Ricotta Cheese Always Made with Pasteurized Milk?

You might be wondering if there is such a thing as raw, unpasteurized ricotta so you can avoid it since much of the pregnancy advice says to only eat ricotta if it is made with pasteurized milk.

Commercially manufactured ricotta is almost always made with pasteurized milk. That is, store-bought or supermarket-sold, branded, factory-produced ricotta.

Many nations, including the USA, UK, some regions of Europe, Australia, and New Zealand, are affected by this.

Any commercial brand sold in the USA or Australia must be pasteurized because laws forbid the production of ricotta without using pasteurized milk. A list of brands is given later in this article.

Be aware that the sale and distribution of raw, unpasteurized milk are entirely legal in Italy, whether you’re visiting or residing there.

Ricotta in Italy may be produced using unpasteurized milk, but this does not necessarily imply that it is. If you’re unsure, always ask first, especially when dining in a restaurant.

When purchasing raw milk cheeses, look for small, artisanal producers, farms, or farm shops. Always verify whether the milk has been pasteurized if purchasing from a source like this.

Whether or not the ricotta has been pasteurized, it is safe to eat during pregnancy if it is heated to a temperature of 165 °F (74 °C).

Benefits of Ricotta Cheese for Pregnant Women

The benefits of ricotta cheese include:

Proteins help the body maintain its health and build lean muscles. Ricotta is considered to be a rich source of protein. Ricotta cheese consumption during pregnancy aids in the development of new cells and tissues and also releases a number of vital hormones.

For strong and healthy bones, calcium is absolutely necessary, so it’s crucial that pregnant women get enough of it. If you eat ricotta cheese while pregnant, it will support the development of your baby’s growing bones as well as your own bone health.

Because of its high selenium content, ricotta cheese helps pregnant women have higher levels of progesterone and lower levels of TPO antibodies.

Half a cup of ricotta cheese provides approximately 11% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A, 14% of riboflavin, and 7% of vitamin B12 when consumed. Riboflavin helps you maintain healthy eyes and skin, vitamin B12 helps prevent birth defects, and vitamin A boosts the immunity of the developing embryo. Each of these vitamins has its own advantages during pregnancy.

A fantastic source of carbohydrates is ricotta cheese made from skim milk or fat-free ricotta. During pregnancy, carbohydrates are crucial and are regarded as the main source of energy in the diet. It has a special function in the growing baby’s overall development and support.

Both Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are abundant in ricotta cheese. Omega-3 fatty acids are known to benefit pregnancy, particularly the baby’s visual and cognitive development. But as was previously stated, it is best to consult a physician before introducing ricotta cheese to your diet.

What about Buffalo / Cow / Sheep / Goat Ricotta?

Ricotta can be made with any type of animal’s milk. Furthermore, it is irrelevant how much whey is used relative to milk (traditionally, whey is used more in Europe than milk, whereas milk is used more in the USA).

Numerous types of milk can be used to make ricotta; what matters is the pasteurization.

Pregnant women are frequently aware that “soft” cheeses should be avoided.

Depending on how it is made, ricotta can be classified as either a soft or semi-soft cheese (e g. ) and how long the cheese has been aged (e.g., plain, smoked, or salted. Ricotta that has aged tends to be firmer and more semi-soft than soft.

If it is made from pasteurized milk, you can still eat fresh, soft-textured ricotta while you are pregnant because it isn’t mold-ripened.

Ricotta should be consumed as fresh as possible or as soon as it is opened due to its high water content. For more information on how to consume and store ricotta safely, refer to the discussion of “fresh vs. cooked” later in this article.


Can you eat ricotta if pregnant?

You’re safe to eat some milk and dairy foods, including: All hard cheeses, such as cheddar, Parmesan or Gruyere. Pasteurised semi-hard and soft cheeses, such as cottage cheese, mozzarella, feta, paneer, ricotta, halloumi, cream cheese, cheese spreads, or goat’s cheese without a white coating on the outside (rind)

Why can’t pregnant women eat ricotta?

There’s a small chance that unpasteurised or soft ripened dairy products may contain Listeria bacteria. This can cause an infection called listeriosis. Listeriosis can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth, or make your newborn baby very unwell.

Is all ricotta cheese pasteurized?

In the U.S., nearly all fresh (unaged, rindless) cheese—like mozzarella, fresh goat cheese/chèvre, ricotta, or feta—is pasteurized. It also means that 99 percent of soft, creamy, spreadable cheeses are pasteurized. Think Laughing Cow, Brie, Camembert, or Taleggio.

Can you eat baked ricotta while pregnant?

Ricotta and mascarpone

You can eat these soft, creamy Italian cheeses in pregnancy if they’ve been cooked and are still hot. They’re often used in desserts raw, though, which may carry a risk of listeria. But stirred and heated through risottos and pasta, or cooked into a quiche or cake, they’re safe for you to eat.

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