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Almost all cheese sold in the United States – including soft cheese – is made with pasteurized milk and is therefore considered safe to eat.
But some cheese made from raw (unpasteurized) milk can show up on store shelves and at farmer's markets, so it's best to check the label before eating any. It's not safe to eat or drink anything made with raw milk during pregnancy.
Raw milk and the food made from it can carry disease-causing organisms, including a bacterium called Listeria monocytogenes. (Dairy products made from pasteurized milk, on the other hand, generally have a very low risk of contamination.)
Listeriosis, the infection caused by this bacteria, is relatively rare. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that it affects 1,600 people in the United States each year. But pregnant women are particularly susceptible, and the infection can be devastating and even deadly for unborn babies.
The CDC, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) all recommend that pregnant women not eat foods made with unpasteurized milk. Raw milk soft cheeses are mentioned specifically because they've been linked to cases of listeriosis.
Soft cheeses most likely to be made from raw milk include feta, Brie, Camembert, blue-veined cheese like Roquefort and Gorgonzola, and Mexican-style cheeses such as queso blanco, queso fresco, and panela.
To be on the safe side, it's best to avoid Mexican-style soft cheeses even if they're made from pasteurized milk. There have been some reports of contamination of these products during the cheese-making process.