Is all cheese safe & healthy?
Food poisoning from cheese is very rare, but there are some cheese you may want to avoid if you are pregnant or your immune system is struggling.
We are often asked whether eating some cheeses can be risky. The advice we give is that food poisoning from cheese is very rare, but there are some types that you may want to avoid if you are pregnant or if, for some reason, your immune system is struggling.
It is usually assumed that risky cheeses have been made from raw (unpasteurised) milk. This is not true; cheeses which can potentially harbour pathogens, like Listeria and E Coli, are of the soft and blue variety (pasteurised or raw milk). Mould and surface ripened cheeses, like these, have a high moisture content and neutral acidity, perfect conditions for stray bacteria to grow and multiply. This will only happen, however, if the cheeses have been poorly made or contaminated during ripening or storage.
It is very unlikely that any cheese sold in New Zealand is going to cause illness, and even less likely if it has been hand crafted or produced small scale like the ones we sell. Having said this, we advise women who are pregnant and anyone who is under the weather to stay clear of soft and blue cheeses. There’s a whole world of harder varieties (pasteurised and un-pasteurised) to tantalise your taste buds – at least in the short term!