Is Cotija Cheese Pasteurized?

If you have tried Cotija cheese before, you may be wondering, is Cotija cheese pasteurized or is it made from unpasteurized milk. This is a commonly asked question amongst those who have tried this mild and flavorful cheese.

This is a type of question that is often asked about different types of cheese, as some are made from pasteurized or unpasteurized milk. This may not seem like a big deal, but it actually is when it comes to food.

The process of pasteurization helps to purify dairy products and remove any bacteria that could be harmful. Making unpasteurized dairy products something that many people are not interested in consuming for health reasons.

Because of this, many people will want to know what kind of cheeses are pasteurized or unpasteurized. Keep reading to find out is Cotija cheese pasteurized and is it safe for pregnant women to consume.

Cotija Cheese Is Not Pasteurized

If you have tried Cotija cheese, you may be wondering if this type of cheese is pasteurized or not. Unfortunately for people who enjoy eating this type of cheese, Cotija is not pasteurized, so it is made from unpasteurized milk.

Cotija cheese with coot

Cotija cheese is a type of Mexican cheese that is made from unpasteurized milk. It has a salty and earthy flavor as well as a smell that is very pleasant and mild enough that it goes well with a variety of meals.

This type of cheese can be quite difficult to find as there are a lot of laws around selling unpasteurized products. As the majority of dairy products that you are going to find in stores are going to be highly pasteurized.

This can make finding unpasteurized cheeses like Cotija difficult, as they are not typically sold in average grocery stores. There are also some precautions that you should take if you are going to be eating cheese like this.

As there are many reasons why people specifically warn against unpasteurized dairy products.

Pregnant Women Should Not Eat Cotija Cheese

There are many different rules about what pregnant women should and should not eat. Many of these rules are around for specific reasons, as this is a delicate time where you need to be careful what you are consuming.

Pregnant women are strongly recommended to not consume any type of dairy product that is unpasteurized. As doing this can expose them to strains of bad bacteria that can be harmful to their pregnancy.

Dropping Stack of Cheese in Shop

There are specific bacteria concerns when it comes to unpasteurized dairy products that can be a direct risk for unborn children. Especially as anything you eat when you are pregnant can directly impact your unborn child.

Because of this, pregnant women are strongly recommended to not eat Cotija cheese that is not pasteurized. You may be able to find some specific brands of Cotija cheese that have been pasteurized, but it is not extremely common.

The best thing you can do is find Cotija cheese alternatives that will provide a similar taste and texture.

Unpasteurized Cheese Isn’t Always Safe

You may be wondering why so many people are concerned about unpasteurized cheeses like Cotija cheese. After all, it doesn’t seem like too much of a big deal for the dairy to be unpasteurized.

But there are actually quite a few health concerns when it comes to eating unpasteurized cheese. As well as any other kind of unpasteurized dairy product as pasteurization is a cleansing process for dairy.

Pasteurization helps to purify the dairy and cleanse dairy of anything that may be in it that could be harmful. This is much like many other types of processes that food goes through to make them safe to be consumed.

You can think of pasteurization as a process that helps to strain out impurities from the milk. As raw milk all on its own, can contain quite a lot of impurities that you do not necessarily want to be eating.

Cheese making is very simple and is not going to cleanse the dairy by itself. Which is why dairy usually goes through a pasteurization process before it ever becomes cheese.

Harmful Pathogens

There are all kinds of harmful pathogens and bacteria and unpasteurized milk. This includes strains of bacteria that are known for causing serious illness and life-threatening complications for people if they are consumed.

cotija cheese on a wooden board

Now, this is not always the case, as there is plenty of raw dairy that is not going to be harmful. But there is always the chance that unpasteurized dairy could contain these harmful pathogens that are unsafe to consume.

That is why dairy eventually started to go through a pasteurizing process to cleanse it and remove any bacteria. As the risk of harmful pathogens is always there if you are consuming dairy that has not been pasteurized.

Quality Concerns

One thing to also think about when you want to consume unpasteurized dairy products, like cheese, is quality. Oftentimes, unpasteurized dairy is not coming from notable dairy brands that you made immediately recognize.

This often means that you really do not know what kind of quality you are buying and how safe that brand is. This raises quality concerns as unpasteurized dairy products need to be extremely high quality in order to be safe.

Do you want to make sure that the dairy is as clean as possible and that the cows are healthy and clean as well.