Pregnant women and sourdough starters

Started by pdog, June 08, 2011, 06:05:12 PM

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Hi....... strange question...... Is there any health concerns from pregnant women eating pizza or breads made with natural sourdough starters?



With all due respect, when it comes to the health of your wife and unborn child, shouldn't you ask your doctor rather than a bunch of random people on some website?
"We make great pizza, with sourdough when we can, baker's yeast when we must, but always great pizza."  
Craig's Neapolitan Garage


Definitely would if I had a pregnant wife and a doctor to ask!

I have a guest coming over and his wife is pregnant........ Just thought I would ask........ I was thinking I should make dough with IDY, but is that yeast any safer?


PDOG,  IMO if you treat the sourdough product as you would a piece of raw meat from start to finish I wouldn't worry about it at all, meaning do not cross contaminate the finished baked product with any raw starter.  Honestly,  some people on this board are probably are more knowledgeable about the subject than the doctor that might be asked.  You do not see the Boudin bakery with a pregnant woman warning at the front door.  I really only am answering as I have faced the question many times before,  and with both ends of the spectrum,  do I feed it to my 96 year old grandmother,  or my friends pregnant wife.  Everything has been fine so far and I would suspect continue to be.  I assuming you have a healthy reliable starter.  Also of note,  I have seen in print on flour bags that the flour must be cooked before consumption and is not meant to be eaten raw.  There is a maximum level of e-coli standard that must be met,  so I think that means there is usually some present.  Again,  safe handling and common sense,  I think that chances are extremely low of anything going wrong.  I commend you for thinking about it though.  -Marc


There shouldn't be any problem with the cooked dough.  However, are you aware that pregnant women should not have certain soft cheeses and should avoid all deli-type meats?  Also smoked seafood, I think.  You can easily google for a basic list of foods to avoid.


scott r

you can add certain mercury containing seafoods to the pregnant worry list.    You can get away with certain seafoods that are definitely low in mercury, but others that are known to be high should be avoided or eaten only now and then.   


Okay sooooo I asked a doctor!!!!!

Me:  Can pregnant women eat breads made with a starter, natural yeast, such as a sourdough bread.

Doctor: "I have no idea what the h*ll you are talking about."

Soooooo...... no help from the MDs.... but after some searching..... one pregnancy site suggest making a sourdough starter as a nice activity to pass the time while pregnant.

Thanks for all the advice


As a pregnant woman, I don't think you have any problem with sourdough.

The soft cheeses & deli meats thing is also rather questionable. Some pregnant women will have no problem with eating either (myself included). I believe the reason pregnant women are told to avoid these types of foods because they may contain listeria which pregnant women are more susceptible to and may cause miscarriage. However, any * pasteurized* soft cheese is perfectly fine, and pretty much all cheeses in the US are pasteurized, but you can ask your grocer / cheesemonger / whatever if you want to be sure.

And again, listeria is killed by cooking it - so if you're putting the deli meats on a pizza, and then cooking it, they should be fine. I think the important thing is as someone else mentioned, to follow good food prep practices and to not cross contaminate raw foods with cooked.

If you want to be on the safe side, you might want to just ask your friend / friends wife about any dietary restrictions since every pregnant woman seems to follow different guidelines (and also have different weird food aversions).


Not sure there is a one size fits all answer here.

My wife are naturally leavened breads and pizzas all through her pregnancy.

Also had small amounts of non pasteurized cheeses as well....but then again we do our best to only purchase foods from producers, many local, whose production methods are known. We are fortunate to live in an area where such a thing is possible.

American made dairy products are indeed generally pasteurized. Especially being that  most milk isdone so for reasons most don't want to know about. Most of the milk sold in stores is simply a wretched product which should be labeled as unfit for human consumption.
"It's Baltimore, gentlemen, the gods will not save you." --Burrell