Can I Eat Cookie Dough Ice Cream While Pregnant?

Pregnancy is a magical time in a woman’s life, characterized by many changes in the body. Nonetheless, this moment is also marked as a period with exceptional uncertainties, especially for first-time moms.

It is normal to think about what to eat, what to avoid, and many other questions that are based on the premise of protecting the developing baby. 

When it comes to food, dairy products are an important part of a pregnant woman’s diet, as they are the source of vital nutrients in this period such as protein and calcium.

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Nonetheless, as vital as consuming these products might be, it is also important to know how to properly handle them in order to avoid foodborne illness. 

Ice cream is not an exception, as it is considered a frozen dairy product, for instance, have you ever wondered “Can I eat cookie dough ice cream while pregnant?

These are all normal questions for pregnant women, so keep on reading to discover the answer and to understand if it is safe or not to eat cookie dough ice cream while pregnant.

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Can I Eat Cookie Dough Ice Cream While Pregnant? Safe or not Safe?

Let’s get straight to the point, is it safe or not to eat cookie dough? The real answer is, it depends.

The major problem concerning dairy products is the risk to get contaminated with bacteria that might be present in the product. The most common bacteria present in dairy products are Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and Campylobacter all of which pose a major threat to pregnant women.

Having said that, in order to safely consume dairy products, you should only choose the options where the packaging label reads “pasteurized”. This refers to a process where packaged and non-packaged dairy products are treated with heat to eliminate harmful pathogens and increase shelf life.

To sum up, if you buy industrialized cookie dough ice cream, you do not need to worry about bacteria contamination as it is made with pasteurized dairy products, however, if you are not sure whether the product is made with pasteurized milk or not, the recommendation is not to consume it. In these cases, it is better to err on the side of caution. 

Is Eating Ice Cream Harmful During Pregnancy?

By now you already know that eating pasteurized cookie dough ice cream is safe during pregnancy, however, is it ok to eat ice cream during pregnancy? The truth is if you buy commercial ice cream there is no major risk and you can consume it while pregnant. Just be cautious with the amount of ice cream that you are eating, as this delicious dessert is usually high in fat, sugar, and calories, so keep that in mind. 

Additionally, there are some ice cream flavors that you should avoid during pregnancy, for instance, coffee-flavored or tiramisu ice cream should be avoided due to their caffeine content, especially if you already drink coffee on a daily basis. According to a study published by the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, doctors do not recommend consuming more than 200 mg of caffeine a day.

Alcohol in Ice Cream during Pregnancy

Alcohol is definitely one of those things that you want to keep as far as possible, several studies have shown that even small amounts can be dangerous for the developing baby. Although alcohol flavored ice creams generally contain an insignificant amount of alcohol, if you would be extra cautious you should avoid it.

Safe Ice Creams Brands for Pregnant Women

If you craving ice cream but are not sure about what brand is safe to be consumed, here is a list of the most common commercial brands that you can eat safely, as they are produced with pasteurized dairy products:

Ben and Jerry’s – their famous cookie dough ice cream is made with pasteurized dairy products.Breyer’s – also use pasteurized products.Blue Bell Ice Cream – a common treat during pregnancy.Baskin Robbins – safe for pregnant women.Häagen-Dazs – all their flavors are safe, as the ingredients are treated with the high-temperature short period pasteurization method.Tillamook – safe for pregnant women.Halo Top – they use pasteurized products, besides, their ice cream contains less sugar and fat when compared to other brands.Carte D’or – safe for pregnant women.Turkey Hill – safe for pregnant women.Unsafe Cookie Dough Ice Cream for Pregnant Women

On the contrary, below you will find types of cookie dough ice cream that you should avoid while pregnant, as they might be produced with unpasteurized ingredients.

Homemade cookie dough ice cream: homemade ice cream can contain both unpasteurized egg and milk. It is worth noting that freezer temperatures do not “kill” bacteria, instead bacteria goes into a hibernation state, as soon as the food thaws bacteria “wake up” and can potentially produce foodborne illness.

Soft-serve ice cream: although it might be produced with pasteurized ingredients, the problem lies in the machine used to serve it, if it is not frequently cleaned it can foster dangerous bacteria.

Needless to say, that you should also avoid eating raw cookie dough if you are pregnant for the same reason, it contains raw ingredients such as eggs and milk that could be contaminated.

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Can I Eat Cookie Dough Ice Cream While Pregnant Conclusion

Ice cream is a common treat, especially on hot summer days. Also, pregnant women frequently have cravings for something sweet, and ice cream is definitely on top of their list, as there are a large variety of flavors.

However, have you ever asked yourself, “Can I eat cookie dough ice cream while pregnant?

The short answer is yes, however, it is extremely important to make sure that the ice cream was made with pasteurized dairy products in order to mitigate risks of foodborne illness, most commercial brands are safe for pregnant women, nonetheless, if you are not sure about its safety, simply do not eat it, as it is not worth the risk.