Cheese during pregnancy is a bit of a minefield!
One of the cheeses that often cause confusion is Halloumi, in fact, as a midwife, I was probably asked can pregnant women eat halloumi cheese on a daily basis!
In this post we’re going to take a look at if it’s safe to eat during pregnancy and what you need to watch out for should you choose to eat it.
Let’s get started.
Can Pregnant Women Eat Halloumi Cheese?
Yes, halloumi cheese is safe to eat in pregnancy, however, it should be made from pasteurized milk and cooked first.
Halloumi is currently listed as safe to eat on the NHS website and is a great source of calcium, vitamins A and B, magnesium, selenium, and Zinc which are all crucial minerals during pregnancy.
However, as you’d expect from cheese it’s also packed full of fat (some saturated) and salt which makes it more of an occasional treat to be eaten in moderation rather than something you should feast on every day.
Why Halloumi Should Be Made With Pasteurized Milk
As we mentioned right at the top of this post, cheese can be a minefield during pregnancy. Soft, unpasteurized cheeses aren’t suitable during pregnancy due to Listeria.
Halloumi (also called Haloumi or Helim) is an interesting cheese – it’s not a soft cheese (not safe) and it’s not a hard cheese (safe to eat) which is the main cause of confusion.
The general rule is so long as your halloumi is made from pasteurized milk then it’s safe to eat.
Most mass-produced halloumi is made from pasteurized cow, goat or ewe’s milk, however, not all brands are made this way so you should always check the label.
Traditional Halloumi is off the menu as it’s normally made from unpasteurized goat’s or ewe’s milk.
As a general rule of thumb – supermarket Halloumi is normally safe to eat but always check the label and traditional halloumi is not safe so is best avoided.
Which Halloumi Brands Are Pasteurized?
We’ve started to compile a list of Halloumi brands that are safe to eat (again, always check the label yourself):
- Walmart Mt Vikos Greek Halloumi
- Safeway Shepherds of Cyprus Halloumi
- Kroger Shepherds of Cyprus Halloumi
- Whole Foods Shepherds of Cyprus Halloumi
- Albertsons Kryssos Company Halloumi
- Cypriot Halloumi,
- Yamas Chilli Halloumi
- Sainsbury’s Taste the Difference Cypriot Halloumi
- Tesco Finest Halloumi
- Essential Waitrose Cypriot Halloumi,
- Cypriot Light Halloumi,
- Organic Duchy Cypriot Halloumi,
- Free From Lactose Cypriot Halloumi
Can I Eat Halloumi Raw?
So long as it’s pasteurized you can but I’m not really sure why (cravings maybe?).
Halloumi is best when it’s been cooked on the grill for a few minutes on either side.
Does Nando’s Use Pasteurized Halloumi?
Nando’s Halloumi is made from pasteurized cheese making it safe to eat.
Are Halloumi Fries OK if I’m Pregnant?
So long as the cheese is pasteurized then Halloumi fries are safe to eat.
Halloumi Recipe Ideas During Pregnancy
Here are some of our favorite ways to eat Halloumi:
- With watermelon
- As an alternative to burgers or a meat substitute with salads
- With pitta and hummus with a squeeze of lemon over the top
The Bottom Line
Can pregnant women eat halloumi cheese? Absolutely, so long as the cheese is pasteurized it’s safe to eat at any stage of your pregnancy. Do keep in mind, however, that due to the high fat and salt content it’s more of an occasional meal.
Ellen Fetters, is a former Children's and Young People's Nursing Practice with an BSc from the University of Sunderland. After completing her SCPHN - HV she then worked as a Health Visitor within the local community.
In 2017 Ellen left nursing to launch Parenting Click, an online parenting resource aimed at creating happier families through better parenting.
She lives with her husband, beautiful baby girl, and two darling dogs. She spends her free time writing, running and learning how to become a better parent.