Is Feta Cheese Pasteurized​? Not all.

Let’s be clear, not all feta made using the pasteurized milk.

We discussed last week, the traditional Parmigiano Reggiano is made using the unpasteurized milk, and a few of the sellers are still using the old method until these days.

This may not be a problem for most people, but it’s quite an issue for the pregnant mom.

FDA urged that pregnant women should only eat cheese that is made of pasteurized milk to reduce the risk of getting listeriosis.

The original Greece-made feta is using the unpasteurized sheep/goat milk, some cheesemakers kept the tradition until today, but many dairies are switching to the pasteurized milk.

So, you have to check the label to make sure it’s made using the pasteurized milk.

I already done that for you, here are a few popular brands of feta cheese I found on Amazon, and i linked that to the seller page so you can learn more there.

Brand / Provider / ProductMilk Pasteurisation
igourmetYes
Dodoni Yes
VintageYes
Meredith DairyNot Stated
ValbresoNot Stated
Indo EuropeanNot Stated
YorsanNot Stated
AthenosYes
Treasure CaveYes
Breezy Meadows FarmNo
President Yes
Real Greek ArtisanYes
Lidl Not Stated
YamasNot Stated
AustralianNot Stated

Some feta brands above did not state clearly whether the milk used is pasteurized.

Normally, the one with unpasteurized will state “raw milk” in the ingredients.

Why it has to be pasteurised?

Feta is the fermented product made from sheep milk. It is also a good medium for bacteria to grow so to produce a desirable flavor and texture for the cheese.

And, it is unavoidably to have harmful bacterium joining the party.

Pasteurization is an essential step to exposure milk to a short duration of heat. Although it will destroy the harmful germs, it will also diminish some of the good bacteria, heat-labile enzymes, and vitamins.

But, the pasteurized milk will have a longer shelf-life and safer to consume. So, it’s a trade-off.

The facilities in a cheese factory. Every step has to be regulated under stringent rule to reduce contamination.

To prevent listeriosis

Listeriosis is an infection of food-borne bacteria which can cause miscarriage. See bacteria in parmesan cheese here.

It is caused by a bacteria species named Listeria monocytogenes. This bacteria targets people with a weakened immune system, such as children, elderly and pregnant women.

It can also be found in raw meat, uncooked vegetable, fruit, and milk. Proper cooking or pasteurization is sufficient to kill the bacteria.

Soft cheese is a no-no

Soft cheese means the cheese that is, soft, such as brie and feta.

Parmesan/cheddar is hard cheese, and blue cheese gorgonzola (see pic) is semi-hard cheese.

The higher the moisture the more favourable for bacteria to thrive. As a result, feta has a shortening the storage life-span and easier for the contamination to take place.

For the same reason, most of the soft cheese don’t really age for a long time, or at all like these two here. While hard cheese usually takes months or years to age, soft cheese is often briefly aged for days or a couple of weeks.

Researcher says…

Soft-ripened cheese which made using the unpasteurized milk, such as brie, feta, homemade Latin-style “Queso fresco”, blue cheese, and ricotta are estimated to be 50- to 160-fold greater risk than cheeses made from the pasteurized milk (1).

Read typical hard vs typical semi-soft cheese, parmesan vs gorgonzola here.

Key Takeaway

Feta is a soft cheese which only be consumed (by pregnant women) only if pasteurized. Or simply avoid it.

Always check the product label to make sure the milk used is pasteurized.

Are you a fan of mozzarella stick? see what i prepared for you here.