Moms-to-be are often warned to avoid soft cheeses like Brie, goat, Camembert, feta, queso blanco, and blue or other veined varieties, as they're unpasteurized and susceptible to listeria contamination. Pregnant women must be particularly vigilant about the risk of contracting food-borne illnesses, particularly in the first trimester, as they can lead to miscarriage or preterm birth. So, if you're expecting, you'll want to steer clear of a cheese product being recalled at Whole Foods in nine stores in New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Illinois, Connecticut, and New Jersey. Explorateur French Triple Crème cheese, which sounds lovely, may have been contaminated with infection-causing Listeria monocytogenes, according to the company.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration notes that no illnesses caused by the Explorateur French Triple Crème cheese have been reported, but Whole Foods is recalling the product anyway, "out of an abundance of caution" after it was notified of a positive Listeria test result by the distributor.
The contaminated cheese was on shelves in Greenwich, CT; Madison, NJ; Montclair, NJ; River Forest, IL; Deerfield, IL; Santa Fe, NM; El Paso, TX; Austin, TX; and Little Rock, AR.
If you happened to purchase a package of Explorateur, check the sell by date. If it's from February 15 through April 3, 2018, Whole Foods is encouraging customers to bring the receipt in for a full refund.
And if you're still craving cheese while waiting for your L.O.'s arrival, you do have safer options! According to Hope Ricciotti, MD, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Harvard Medical School and coauthor of I'm Pregnant! Now What Do I Eat?, stick to an aged cheese, like cheddar or Parmesan, which is processed in a way that kills bacteria naturally.