Queso can mean various things, consisting of dips, sauce or new cheese. Offered that over there are various do’s and also don’ts as soon as it pertains to eating cheese throughout pregnancy, let us discover out which type of queso is safe and unsafe come consume when you space pregnant.

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Queso fresco, queso blanco and queso dips have the right to be for sure for intake during pregnancy, as lengthy as they to be made v pasteurized milk. However, this go not completely eliminate the danger of listeriosis since Listeria pollution can take place after pasteurization.

Jesmarie Macapagal, RN, MD, DPPS
Table of Contents
What room the different Queso Cheeses?
Queso Fresco and Queso Blanco
Queso Dips
dangers of eat Queso throughout Pregnancy
references for eating Queso throughout Pregnancy
final Thoughts

What are the different Queso Cheeses?

There space two main types of queso: Queso fresco and queso blanco. There are likewise different species of queso-style dips favor chile con queso.

Queso Fresco and Queso Blanco

Queso converts literally come “cheese” in Spanish, when queso fresco method “fresh cheese” and also queso blanco translates right into “white cheese” in English. Both queso fresco and also queso blanco room a Mexican type of new white cheese that room traditionally do from life cow’s milk, goat’s milk, or a combination of both. It has a contempt salty and also sour, v mildly milky, taste. In the unified States, pasteurized queso fresco products are generally sold in supermarkets, however a most people additionally choose to do their very own queso fresco at home.

Although traditionally, queso fresco is made through the usage of rennet as an mountain (Flynn et al., 2021), while queso blanco is made v vinegar or lemon juice for curdling the milk, nowadays the surname queso fresco and queso blanco are frequently used interchangeably. As soon as the curds form, the whey is strained in cheesecloth and the curds room pressed right into a firm cheese or turned into a creamy, spreadable form.

The crumbly structure of queso fresco is right for usage as a topping. That is often used together a substitute for feta, goat or ricotta cheese. It deserve to be sprinkled ~ above enchiladas, tacos, salads, soups and egg dishes (like huevos rancheros). It also works good with new fruits and herbs, grilled food, summer vegetables, or as a pour it until it is full in some recipes prefer the chile rellenos.

Queso Dips

Salsa Con Queso

“Chile con queso” method “chile with cheese” in English. The is a Tex-Mex (Texan-Mexican) cheese dip that is a Mexican-inspired American food of thick and also creamy melted cheese the is popularly offered as an appetizer or next dish.

Traditional or standard queso is made of melted Velveeta cheese, diced tomatoes and green chiles. Yet recipes today can vary extensively. Nowadays, over there is orange queso and white queso, relying on the cheese used. It can likewise be made into a thinner consistency v the use of white cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese. Various other recipes can likewise use yellow or aged cheddar cheese.

The ingredients used in do queso dips additionally vary. Part contain eco-friendly chiles, jalapenos, or both. Queso can also be spiced v cumin or chili powder. Still others add meat, such together ground beef or spicy sausage, come the melted cheese. Lastly, queso makers deserve to mix and also match their very own recipes from any kind of of the ingredients pointed out above, and they deserve to even add their own twist.

Risks of eat Queso during Pregnancy

Latin-style soft cheeses favor queso fresco are generally fresh (not aged), have a short shelf-life of around 2 weeks, and also have a high humidity content as much as 59 percent. These attributes all contribute to enhanced risk of pathogen growth that may cause condition to people (Lusk et al., 2012).

From 1998 come 2011, 90 outbreaks that were linked to cheese consumption have been reported to the Centers for an illness Control and Prevention (CDC). Of these outbreaks, 42 percent to be attributed come ingestion the cheese made with unpasteurized milk, 49 percent to be from cheese made with pasteurized milk, when 9 percent were cheese through no report of pasteurization status (Gould et al., 2014).

Queso fresco to be the most usual cheese reported, through 18 outbreaks due to unpasteurized and 1 outbreak as result of pasteurized cheese. Majority of the outbreaks the were brought about by pasteurized cheeses occurred most frequently in restaurants, delis, or banquet settings, whereby cross-contamination to be the implicated contributing element (Gould et al., 2014).

Raw milk deserve to be contaminated by pathogens the are existing in pets or the environment. Pasteurization is known to be efficient in eradicating these organisms from milk. However, cheese can come to be contaminated after pasteurization during the subsequent cheese-making process through contact with contaminated devices or managing by infected workers (Gould et al., 2014).


The most common reason of the outbreaks pertained to cheese usage reported between 1998 and 2011 were related to Salmonella pollution of unpasteurized (10 outbreaks) and also pasteurized (6 outbreaks) queso fresco or various other Mexican-style cheese (Gould et al., 2014).

In 2019, Plumb et al. Described the investigation carried out by the CDC, state and local health and wellness departments and the us Department the Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection business on a multistate Salmonella outbreak that happened throughout June 2018 come March 2019. 255 instances in 32 says were established in this outbreak. Epidemic were discovered to be brought about by consumption of soft cheese and queso fresco acquired in Mexico and beef obtained in the joined States.


Brucella types cause the infection referred to as brucellosis. It is one endemic zoonotic condition that causes up to approximately 500 thousand situations worldwide. However, in the united States, the is considered a rare illness with only around 100 come 200 situations reported yearly (Pappas et al., 2006). The most typical route of infection of Brucella varieties to humans has actually been found to it is in the gulp down of unpasteurized dairy products (Mantur et al., 2007).

In 2013, Román et al. Described an outbreak of brucellosis at a police terminal in Peru. Of 60 policemans at the station, 16 were determined to have actually the disease. A regional Peruvian cuisine the was all set with unpasteurized goat white cheese was implicated as the many probable source of infection.

In 2021, Krause et al. Reported a case of brucellosis from intake of queso fresco. The instance was the of a male who was 22 years old and regularly spend queso fresco native Mexico. He developed low earlier pain, fever, chills and also weight loss, and was initially regulated for osteomyelitis, but was later on diagnosed together a case of lumbar and sacral brucellosis.


Listeria monocytogenes is a ubiquitous microorganism found in the environment. The is a specific concern in all set to eat (RTE) dairy assets like new cheese (Boor et al., 2017), and also has caused several outbreaks of food borne disease. It reasons the infection referred to as listeriosis, which has a high as whole mortality rate, varying from 20 come 30 percent, mainly amongst pregnant women, your babies, and immunocompromised individuals (Hernandez-Milian & Payeras-Cifre, 2014).

According to the CDC, pregnant women space 10 times much more likely to gain listeriosis, contrasted to the basic population. However, pregnant Hispanic females were found to have even greater risk and are 24 times more likely to acquire Listeria infection 보다 the basic population.

Listeriosis have the right to be sent throughout the placenta and affect the fetus or newborn (Lamont et al., 2011). It is a severe food borne condition that can result in serious complications, such together miscarriage, premature birth birth, maternal and also neonatal sepsis, and death in the child (Moran et al., 2018).

Queso fresco is currently the most popular Hispanic-inspired fresh cheese in the market. It has actually a high humidity content, short salt content and practically neutral pH, which do it at risk for air pollution with L. Monocytogenes (Flynn et al., 2021). This bacterium is maybe to prosper at refrigeration temperatures and also can contaminate assets after the pasteurization process (Flynn et al., 2021). Hence, soft cheeses deserve to encourage the expansion of Listeria, nevertheless if the milk used to make the cheese was pasteurized or no (D’Amico et al., 2008)

The many serious outbreak of listeriosis involving Latin-style cheeses occurred in 1985, which led to 48 deaths, of which 30 to be newborns and fetuses (Lusk et al., 2012). In 2000, an episode of listeriosis amongst Hispanic world in north Carolina was established to be led to by noncommercial, fresh, Mexican-style cheese, including queso fresco, made from contaminated life milk. Of the 11 situations who to be pregnant in ~ the time, 5 resulted in stillbirth, 3 had actually premature deliveries, and 3 provided birth come infected newborns (MacDonald et al., 2005).

In 2006, Uhlich et al. Investigated the growth of Listeria monocytogenes in vacuum-packaged slices the queso blanco. This study discovered that Listeria had the ability to grow throughout storage at refrigeration temperatures, and also not even the lowest temperature of 5 degrees Celsius was able to avoid its growth.

According come the CDC, 8 food borne outbreaks have been connected with Listeria air pollution in cheese from 2014 come 2018. The cheese assets implicated in these outbreaks encompass quesarito (fresh cheese), soft life milk cheese, and also queso fresco. Moreover, according to the nationwide Outbreak Reporting device (NORS), 5 outbreaks, 46 illnesses, 34 hospitalizations, and also 2 deaths have been associated with ingestion of contaminated queso fresco in the United states from 1971 come 2018 (Flynn et al., 2021).

Recommendations because that Eating Queso during Pregnancy

According come the CDC, pregnant women can lower their hazard of gaining listeriosis by not eating soft cheeses, including queso fresco, unless they were made through pasteurized milk. Pasteurization is the process of heating milk lengthy enough and to a temperature high enough to kill harmful bacteria favor Listeria. However, also soft cheese made indigenous pasteurized milk have actually been report to reason listeriosis.

Pregnant women, who room at greater risk because that listeriosis, must remember the soft cheeses made through raw milk, or also those made with pasteurized milk but under unsanitary conditions, have actually been reported to reason severe disease (Gould et al., 2014). These soft cheeses encompass queso fresco (CDC, 2013).

Majority the the queso served in American-Mexican restaurants room pasteurized. But since Mexican queso is traditionally made v raw milk, it would certainly be prudent to ask the ingredients to it is in sure. Pregnant women can likewise reheat their fresh queso and also queso dip to kill any bacteria that might be present. As soon as in doubt, the is finest to stop ordering and eating queso dishes.

Other public health and wellness agencies, such together the European center for condition Control and also Prevention and the windy Health agency of Canada, recommend the all persons considered as high-risk of emerging listeriosis have to avoid intake of all soft cheeses (Gould et al., 2014).

Final Thoughts

Consuming just pasteurized queso fresco, queso blanco and queso dips have the right to lower the danger of listeriosis throughout pregnancy. Simply make certain to read the label closely when shopping at groceries, or ask inquiries in restaurants or farmer’s markets when you feeling doubtful about the cheese’s pasteurization status.

Stay clear from queso made with raw milk together there is a high risk of contamination with Listeria, which have the right to be an extremely dangerous for unborn babies. Climate again, also pasteurized assets of queso can still be contaminated if they to be processed under unsanitary conditions. The only way to remove this threat a hundreds percent is to remain clear indigenous eating any kind of queso food throughout pregnancy.

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Remember that it is no worth risking the life of your baby for some food craving. After her pregnancy, you deserve to go back to eating all the kinds of cheese the you love. Talk to your physician to recognize which kinds of cheese room safe and also which are finest for you come avoid.

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