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January 04, 2005

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I am grinning ear to ear, so happy that you received this unexpected check at the exact right moment. Isn't God good?? Thanks for sharing.

Thanks for clearing up the soft cheese issue. My husband and I are just starting to try to get pregnant and I was dreading giving up any wonderful cheese.

Lunchmeats are actually more of a problem than pasteurized soft cheeses. If you want turkey sandwiches, (or roast beef or whatever) cut it yourself from a beast you roasted yourself. Don't eat hot dogs unless they have been boiled (or better yet, stay away from them completely). Abjure bologna and the like. Highly salted dry suasages like salami are OK from the listeria POV, but probably not the healthiest food in any kind of quantity.
Famous outbreaks of listeria in the USA have been linked to soft cheese from unpasteurized milk (1985, Los Angeles is the best known one) but have also been linked to coleslaw from inadequately washed cabbage, and to lunchmeats.

My baby almost died from Listeria in pregnancy. The same Ob. practice lost a baby seven years earlier to listeria. It's rare but it happens. Even if 99% of the soft cheeses probably aren't an issue, trust me it's not worth it. Luckily I never ate any, else I would feel so guilty for having caused my baby to be born six weeks premature (we were lucky, she is perfectly healthy), not to mention the crazy $100k+ in hospital bills.

I'm sorry to hear about your baby's illness -- that must have been awful.

My point was not that women should ignore the risk of listeria altogether, but that they should get accurate information about both prenatal risks (pasteurized cheese, no matter how soft, is simply not a vector for listeria) and postpartum risks (infant feeding choices affect many more babies than listeria).

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