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Navigating Allergies and Food Sensitivities

Egg Allergies

Egg Allergy Info

Egg free

Eggs are one of the most common allergy-causing foods, especially in children. 2.6 percent of young children are allergic to egg.1


An egg allergy usually occurs a few minutes to a few hours after eating eggs or foods containing eggs. Signs and symptoms range from mild to severe and can include skin rashes, hives, vomiting or inflamed nasal passages. Rarely, egg allergy can cause anaphylaxis — a severe, life-threatening reaction.2


Both egg yolks and egg whites contain a number of proteins that can cause allergies, but allergy to egg white is more common. It’s possible for breast-fed infants to have an allergic reaction to egg proteins in breast milk. 2


Additionally, some people who are allergic to chicken eggs are also allergic to other kinds of bird eggs — such as duck, turkey, goose or quail eggs. In some cases, people who are allergic to eggs are also allergic to chicken. This is known as bird-egg syndrome. 2


The key to preventing an egg allergy is avoiding eggs and foods that contain eggs. This can be a challenge because eggs are a common food ingredient.


Table 1 contains a list of some of the foods where egg can be found. 2

Table 1: Foods that may contain egg

  • Marshmallow

  • Mayonnaise

  • Meringue

  • Baked goods

  • Mixes, batters and sauces

  • Frostings

  • Processed meat, meatloaf and meatballs

  • Pudding

  • Salad dressing

  • Many pastas

  • Root beer

  • Specialty coffee or alcoholic drinks

People who are very sensitive to egg proteins have a reaction when they touch eggs or egg products. Nonfood products that sometimes contain egg include:



  • Shampoo

  • Medications

  • Cosmetics

  • Finger paints

Several terms indicate that egg products have been used in manufacturing processed foods. Terms that imply egg protein is present include:



  • Albumin

  • Globulin

  • Lecithin

  • Livetin

  • Lysozyme

  • Simplesse

  • Vitellin

  • Words starting with “ova” or “ovo,” such as ovalbumin or ovoglobulin

Citations

1

NIH: National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

Food Allergy.

2

Mayo Clinic

Egg Allergy.