Raw milk cheese are cheeses made with unpasteurized milk. This encompasses a very large group of cheeses made both domestically here in the U.S. as well as European cheeses (and cheeses from other countries as well). There is an inherent risk involved in eating raw milk cheese it that it may, on occasion, contain the listeria bacteria which is particularly dangerous for pregnant women, children, elderly or any person with a compromised immune system.
Many European raw milk cheeses are not allowed entry into the U.S. for safety reasons. While raw milk cheeses are some of the finest and best tasting cheeses, you should avoid serving them to any vulnerable persons as listed above.
Listeriosis is a serious infection usually caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. An estimated 1,600 people get listeriosis each year, and about 260 die. The infection is most likely to sicken pregnant women and their newborns, adults aged 65 or older, and people with weakened immune systems.