Is it safe to eat goats' cheese during pregnancy?

You should avoid eating some types of goats’ cheese while you’re pregnant, but others are safe to eat.

Types of goats’ cheese

Goats’ milk is used to make several types of cheese.

While you’re pregnant, you should avoid eating the soft goats’ cheese called chèvre, which is often served in restaurants. Dishes it features in include a goats' cheese salad. However, cooked goat’s cheese is safe to eat, such as in a goats’ cheese tart. Thoroughly cooking the cheese all the way through, until steaming hot throughout, will kill any harmful bacteria that may be present, making it safe to eat during pregnancy.

Chèvre is mould-ripened and has a white rind, similar to brie and camembert, which you should also avoid during pregnancy. Soft cheeses like this can contain listeria bacteria. These bacteria can cause listeriosis, which usually causes flu-like symptoms, but can lead to serious problems such as miscarriage or stillbirth, or severe illness in a newborn baby.

Other types of goats' cheese without this kind of rind should be safe to eat, such as hard cheeses made with goats’ milk.

What about cheeses made from sheep’s milk?

Ewes’ (sheep’s) milk cheeses, such as feta and halloumi, are safe to eat while pregnant.

Read the answers to more questions about pregnancy.

Further information:

Page last reviewed: 05/02/2013

Next review due: 05/02/2015