Is Pimento Cheese Safe To Eat During Pregnancy?

Yes, pimento cheese is safe to eat during pregnancy provided that all ingredients; especially, the cheese and mayonnaise are made from pasteurized milk. This precaution helps avoid any risks of foodborne illnesses that could potentially harm the mother or baby.

There could be some misconceptions about the food safety of cheese spreads such as this type due to their soft-cheese nature. However the general consensus is that pasteurized cheese, regardless of its form is typically safe for pregnant women.

Despite its safety, pregnant women should be mindful of its sodium content. High sodium intake during pregnancy might lead to potential health issues.

When buying pre-made pimento cheese, it’s crucial to carefully read the label to ensure all ingredients used are pasteurized. There are no risks associated with consuming homemade prepared with safe food handling practices and pasteurized ingredients.

Safe tips to eat pimento cheese during pregnancy


Always ensure that all the ingredients used are made from pasteurized milk or are pasteurized themselves. This process kills all the bad bacteria including Listeria, which can pose a big danger for pregnant women and their developing babies.

Homemade vs. Store-Bought:

If you’re making this cheese at home, use pasteurized ingredients and follow good food safety practices. Buying it from a store or restaurant is also regarded as safe, so far as we can trust the source.

Commercially produced pimento cheese products typically use pasteurized ingredients and they also go by the food safety standards.


Be sure to store it in the refrigerator at temperatures below 4°C to get rid of any possible bacteria growth. Leftover ones should be consumed within a few days.


Be mindful of contamination when preparing it. Wash your hands, utensils, and surfaces thoroughly, especially when handling raw vegetables like pimentos.

Be Cautious with Add-Ins:

If you add ingredients like diced pimentos or jalapeños to the pimento cheese, ensure they are fresh and properly washed.

What is pimento cheese made from?

Pimento cheese, which is also called “pâté of the south,”  is a classic Southern U.S. treat. The basic formula of this spread are chaddar cheese, pimentos(which is a red pepper type) and mayonnaise.

Some variations may include ingredients like cream cheese, jalapeno peppers, onions and garlic(powders and minced), and Worcestershire sauce.

While the recipe may vary slightly depending on personal or regional preferences, the core trio of ingredients remains constant to give the regular and delicious pimentos spread that is often served with crackers, vegetables, or as a sandwich filling

Benefits of eating pimento cheese while pregnant

Consuming this cheese type during pregnancy is not only safe (when made with pasteurized ingredients) but it also confers certain nutritional benefits.

  • Source of Protein: Cheese is filled with proteins, which is crucial for baby’s growth and development.
  • Supply of Calcium: The primary component of pimento and cheese provides a great source of calcium. Calcium is important for baby’s bones and teeth.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: It contains vitamins and minerals, which contributes to building the immune system of both the mother and baby. Additionally, they full of Vitamin C, great from nutrient absorption.
  • Folate Contribution: Some sources suggest that homemade versions of this cheese can incorporate ingredients like spinach to boost the folate content, an essential nutrient for preventing neural tube defects.
  • Satisfying Healthy Cravings: Pimentos enjoyed within moderation, can help satiate cheese cravings during pregnancy in a reasonably healthy way.

It’s good to draw your attention to the fact that it can be high in sodium and saturated fats, thence incorporating it into balanced diets and eating smaller quantities should be your key theme.

Risk of eating pimento cheese in pregnancy

While pimento cheese can be enjoyed safely during pregnancy if prepared and handled correctly, there are certain risks to be aware of to ensure you stay safe with the baby:

Listeria Risk

One of the major problems when eating pimentos during pregnancy is the possibility of contracting a foodborne illness usually caused by listeria bacteria. During pregnancy, the immune becomes weaker, and that makes you susceptible to such infections with the slightest contact.

When you don’t quickly check with your doctor, it may lead to some health complications, which may include miscarriage, immature babies or stillbirth.

To minimize the chances of getting foodborne illness, you should go the extra mile to check and ensure that all the ingredients used in pimento cheese especially dairy products like cream and mayonnaise are made fully pasteurized.

Pasteurization process will do the good of killing all the bacteria and make the food perfect for consumption.

High Calories and Fat

Pimento cheese may come with extra calories and fat due to the cheese and mayonnaise. While some fat intake is needed while on this journey, too much of high fat foods can make you put on unnecessary weight, which intend may increase your risk for gestational diabetes and other complications.

Sodium Content

Some variations can be relatively high in sodium, which can contribute to water retention and high blood pressure. It’s important to check sodium intake especially if you’re already managing preeclampsia or hypertension.

Personal Dietary Preferences and Allergies

Pimento cheese may not be suitable for pregnant women with lactose intolerance or dairy allergies. Additionally, some mom-to-bes may have dietary preferences or restrictions that make this cheese less suitable for their needs.

While these are possible risks to know with its consumption during pregnancy, it’s important to note that eating smaller amounts will keep you out of these.

Pregnant women should be aware of their diets and what they take in during these precious times. And they should discuss with their doctors before making any significant changes or incorporate a new food, long-term in their diets.


Can pregnant ladies eat mayonnaise?

Mayonnaise made with pasteurized eggs is safe for pregnant women to consume. However, restaurant-made or even homemade ones which are made from raw eggs that are not pasteurized should be avoided because it could lead to the salmonella foodborne illness

Is pimento safe to eat during pregnancy’s first trimester?

Yes, pimento cheese is safe to be eaten during the first trimester. It’s always important to use pasteurized ingredients to make it safer for consumption

Is chick-fil-a pimento cheese pasteurized?

Yes, Chick-fil-A pimentos is made with pasteurized ingredients


Pimento cheese is safe to eat during pregnancy as far as you make with pasteurized ingredients. You should eat in moderation. When consumed in smaller amounts, this popular Southern U.S. dish provides a host of benefits owing to its protein, calcium, and vitamin content.

However, a careful eye should be kept on the sodium and saturated fat levels. Too much sodium is bad. In cases of store-bought pimento cheese, the awareness and understanding of labels become crucial to ensure the safety of both mother and baby.

Yet, despite its general safety and popularity, pregnant women must always remember to consult with their healthcare provider before making any substantial dietary changes.

Everyone’s body and pregnancy journey is unique; therefore, personalized advice will always remain in the best interest of mother and baby. Eating a balanced diet and making informed food choices is key to a healthy pregnancy.


Georgina Austin, CNM

Georgina Austin, CNM

Hello! I'm Gina, a certified midwife, a writer, an experienced one of course, and a proud mother of twins, Noel and Noelle. With eleven years of maternity support experience and my own journey through motherhood, I offer reliable information on women's health here on this blog.

In addition to writing about pregnancy and breastfeeding, I cover topics like sexual health, birth control, egg donation, sibling relationships, and managing life with multiple children. So, whatever issue you're facing as a woman, I've got you covered!