If you're pregnant, your doctor probably told you to avoid certain risky foods that put you at risk for bacterial infection with listeria, including feta cheese. According to the American Pregnancy Association, listeria is a type of bacteria that can contaminate your food. You are susceptible to listeria infection during pregnancy due to a weakened immune system. The bacteria may also cross the placenta and cause a miscarriage if the baby is infected. Other complications include preterm labor and stillbirth if the infection is untreated.
Purchase feta cheese made from pasteurized milk instead of unpasteurized milk. Pasteurization kills listeria and other bacteria that could be harmful to the mother and baby. Soft cheeses made with pasteurized milk are considered safe for consumption during pregnancy, according to the Kids Health website. Consume pasteurized feta cheese in salads, on pizzas or right out of the package.
Prepare feta cheese in a dish that will be cooked thoroughly if the feta is unpasteurized. According to Ohio State University, cooking a dish to 158 degrees Fahrenheit for a minimum of two minutes will kill listeria bacteria. You can check the temperature of your dish using a meat thermometer inserted into different points to make sure multiple areas have reached that temperature.
Melt the feta by placing it in a double boiler. A double boiler can be made by placing a large glass bowl over a pot of boiling water, not allowing the bowl to touch the water. The heat of the steam will melt the feta inside the glass bowl. Heat the feta this way until it reaches 158 degrees Fahrenheit. Melted feta can be used as a dip for vegetables or in omelets.
Consult your doctor if you have any questions regarding safe foods during pregnancy.