Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese that contains cream and shreds (‘stracciatella’) of mozzarella. Subsequently, it’s been hard to classify among pregnancy-safe cheeses. It’s one of my favorite things to eat, so I’ve written this complete guide on whether burrata is safe in pregnancy or not.
Can I Eat Fresh Burrata Cheese When Pregnant? Burrata cheese is safe for pregnant women if both the cheese and the cream inside is made with pasteurized ingredients. In the USA, most burrata is pasteurized, but this may not be the case in other countries.
This guide includes information on whether you can eat fresh or cooked burrata (at home and abroad). I’ve also listed some pregnancy-safe brands for the next time you’re hunting for burrata in a store or deli so that you can enjoy burrata safely if you’re pregnant.
Is Burrata a Soft Cheese?
You might already be aware that pregnant women should avoid ‘soft’ cheeses due to the risk of listeria contamination. Soft cheeses are hard to classify, so I wrote a complete guide to cheese in pregnancy if you wanted a go-to list of all the different cheeses.
Burrata is classed as a soft cheese, for the purposes of pregnancy safety. This means it’s safe to eat if it’s made from pasteurized milk. Because it also contains cream in its center, this should also be made from pasteurized or ultra heat treated (UHT) milk to be safe for pregnant women.
Is Burrata Always Pasteurized? (including in Italy)
Burrata is typical of Puglia, Italy, where many brands of burrata are made – you might see ‘Burrata Pugliese’ or ‘Apulia’ on the label. There is only one type of PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) burrata, known as ‘Burrata di Andria’.
Despite this, cheeses called “burrata” can be made anywhere. There is no stipulation in Italy on whether or not burrata must be made with pasteurized milk or cream. The decision is left to the producers.
Therefore, much like feta or halloumi, burrata might not be pasteurized in Italy or other countries where they have the option to use unpasteurized milk and cream. It’s best to ask first if you’re eating burrata abroad.
Burrata cheese made in the USA is always made from pasteurized ingredients, in line with FDA rules (source: FDA) and is therefore usually safe for pregnant women to eat.
Below I’ve put together a list of brands that are widely available in various countries and that use pasteurized milk and cream. Note the tips about fresh burrata, too!
Can Pregnant Women Eat Cooked Burrata (e.g. Smoked Burrata)?
Burrata cheese is often eaten fresh, in salads, or on its own as an appetizer, but there are also other versions of it.
Cooked burrata is safe in pregnancy, since cooking kills most bacteria, including listeria. However, burrata won’t taste as good when it’s cooked – but this is a matter of personal preference.
If you want to be 100% sure that any cheese is safe, you can cook it until it’s steaming hot. For more on this, read my article on cheese safety in pregnancy.
Smoked burrata can be eaten by pregnant women if the milk and cream are pasteurized. The smoking process does not thoroughly cook the cheese and therefore makes no difference to its safety, it’s the ingredients that count, and these have to be pasteurized to be safe.
Example Brands of Pregnancy-Safe Burrata
To help you when you’re shopping for burrata, I’ve listed some popular brands that make their fresh burrata with pasteurized milk and cream. These are safe in pregnancy if eaten soon after opening:
USA & Canada Brands of Pasteurized Burrata:
- Belgiogioso (sold at many supermarkets)
- Di Stefano
- Deca & Otto
UK Brands of Pasteurized Burrata:
- Deliziosa (available at Sainsbury’s)
- Waitrose No.1 Burrata Pugliese
- Galbani (sold at Tesco and others)
- Asda Extra Special Burrata Mozzarella
- Morrison’s The Best Burrata
Pasteurized Burrata Brands in Australia:
- La Casa Del Formaggio
- La Stella
Tips on Buying Burrata When You’re Pregnant
- Burrata, when made fresh, should be eaten within 48 hours. Try to eat burrata as soon as possible after its manufacture, if it’s freshly made.
- If you’re buying commercially-made or store-bought burrata, always eat it before the ‘use by’ date, and preferably before.
- If you’re getting artisan or fresh burrata from a deli, ensure it has protective packaging to prevent cross-contamination.
- Burrata doesn’t ship very well, unless you use a specialist courier with cool/fridge-stable packaging. Unlike many other gourmet foods, it’s better to buy your burrata fresh from a local store or deli, rather than order it online as the temperatures it’ll be exposed to during shipping won’t do it any good.
There are plenty of stories around about burrata arriving stinky and spoiled in a box – NOT good for eating in pregnancy!
What to do if you Accidentally ate Burrata When Pregnant
If you’ve eaten burrata (for example, in a restaurant) and didn’t know whether it was made from pasteurized ingredients or not, it’s understandable that this might cause concern.
However, the vast majority of commercially-made burrata cheeses are made with pasteurized milk. Particularly if you’re outside Europe, it’s extremely hard to find (or import) unpasteurized soft cheeses, so the chances are greatly in your favor that you have eaten a pasteurized version.
If you’re on vacation in Italy or otherwise enjoying fresh burrata in Europe, the chances are still very slight that you’ve eaten an unpasteurized version, because most producers don’t use raw milk.
The best thing to do is to monitor yourself for any symptoms of foodborne illness that aren’t normal for you. If you feel unwell, have an upset stomach, are sick or have diarrhea, then contact a health professional right away, and let them know you think you ate an unpasteurized product, to be on the safe side.
However, I reiterate that the chances of eating unpasteurized burrata are still very low indeed. If the burrata was freshly made and eaten, even an unpasteurized cheese doesn’t necessarily mean you will get sick. Try not to worry, and take proactive steps to monitor yourself for any unusual symptoms.