Public Health Pregnancy Trivia: Pasteurised Milk

Starbucks Reserve in Milan

Did you know that pregnant women should not drink unpasteurised milk, because of the potential exposure to bacteria Listeria? Listeria can cause a food borne illness called listeriosis, a very serious type of food poisoning. Pregnant women are 10 times more likely to get listeriosis than a non-pregnant person. It can cause vomiting, diarrhoea, and dehydration – and more seriously, miscarriage, stillbirth, or preterm labor. If the baby is infected and born with Listeriosis, it can lead to long-term health issues.  For more details, visit

Clearly, it is key to avoid unpasteurized milk. This isn’t a huge issue in the US, because most of the milk is pasteurized. In Europe, on the other hand, it might not be. I took a few trips during my two pregnancies to European countries, and always asked the restaurants if their milk/dairy products were pasteurized or not. Sometimes they knew the answer immediately, and sometimes a language barrier (or they simply didn’t know) led me to be unsure. Because of this, when I travel around Europe during pregnancy, I often opt for either non-dairy milk or mainstream chains for my drinks. Loving the Starbucks Reserve in Italy might make me basic, but there is a sense of comfort that they have alternative options that are delicious and safe for my baby. Oat milk, in general, is my favourite. To the point that recently, my husband opted for my hot chocolate with Oat Milk, over his drink with regular milk 🥛🍫 

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