Egg allergy is one of the most common food allergies in the United States. An egg allergy occurs when the immune system mistakenly interprets the proteins in egg as a harmful substance. When a person with egg allergy comes in contact (touching, breathing or eating) with egg, the body produces antibodies to fight the harmful substance, and this triggers an allergic reaction. Some people are allergic to the entire egg, while others are just allergic to the white or yolk.
The most common reactions include rash (atopic dermatitis), redness and swelling around the mouth, hives (urticaria), asthma, stomachache, cramping, diarrhea or vomiting, asthma, and in extreme cases anaphylaxis. Reactions can occur within minutes or several hours after consuming the allergen.
Most children grow out of egg allergy by age five, although some people remain allergic for their entire lives. It is also possible to develop an egg allergy later in life.
If you suspect you have an egg allergy, avoid all foods that contain egg, and please see a board certified allergist or immunologist as soon as possible. A skin prick test or RAST can confirm the allergy. (Do not use antihistamines for 7-10 days prior to the test.)
Note – If you are nursing a baby and suspect or know the baby has an egg allergy, do not eat eggs. Egg protein is passed through breast milk.
Which Foods and Other Products Contain Eggs?
Eggs can be found in surprising places. For example, eggs are sometimes used to clarify consommé soup or wine. Eggs are sometimes used as foaming agents in beer and latte coffees.
They are also found in a variety of non-food products, such as cosmetics, shampoos, conditioners, and pharmaceuticals, vaccines (flu and chicken pox), and more. Always read all labels for foods, medicines, cosmetics, creams and ointments.
These Foods Contain Eggs
These Ingredients Contain Egg
Eggs are not always listed as "eggs" on labels. Watch out for these terms.
These Foods Most Likely Contain Eggs
Read ingredient labels carefully. In some cases, the food may not contain egg as an ingredient, but is contaminated during manufacturing or packaging.
baking mixes, bread crumbs, breads, cakes, cookies, crackers, crackers, cream-filled pies, croquettes, doughnuts, fritters, funnel cake, meringue, muffins, pancakes, pretzels, rolls, waffles, and dessert powders - the shiny yellow glaze effect on many baked goods is achieved by using eggs or egg products
beer, cappuccino-style drinks, malted beverages, Orange Julius, Ovaltine, root beer, wine
Breaded or Batter-Fried Foods
breaded foods such as chicken nuggets, chicken parmesan or country fried chicken, pork or steak, fish sticks, meatballs, meatloaf, sausage, meatballs, meatloaf, poppers
Desserts and Sweets
bread pudding, brownies, cake mixes, cake, chocolate candies filled with cream fillings, chocolate candies filled with cream or marshmallow, cookies, cream-filled pies, custard, fondant, frosting for cake, fudge, gelatin desserts, ice cream, icing, icing for cookies, marshmallow candy, pudding, pumpkin and sweet potato pie, sherbet, Fruit whips
Fruits and Vegetables
fruit whips, breaded or fried vegetables, vegetables prepared in a casserole or covered with sauces that contain eggs in any form
macaroni, spaghetti, noodles, vermicelli, etc.
Salad Dressings and Sauces
béarnaise sauce, cream sauces, hollandaise sauce, Newburg sauce, mayonnaise, tartar sauce, Caesar, Ranch, Thousand Island and Russian salad dressings
noodle soups, clear soups, broth, bouillon (and cubes), consommé, store-bought canned or boxed soups
protein powders, sports and protein drinks, powders and bars, weight gain and weight loss powders, nutrition bars, body building supplements
Replacing Eggs in Baking
For each egg, substitute one of the following in your recipe.
- 1 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer whisked with 2 TB water
(I use 1 TB Ener-G plus 2 TB water)
- 1 TB ground flax seed mixed with 3 TB hot water and cooled
- 1 tsp baking powder + 1 TB water + 1 TB vinegar
- 1 tsp yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
- 1 TB apricot, prune or apple puree
- 1 1/2 tablespoons water + 1 1/2 tablespoons oil + 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 packet gelatin + 2 tablespoons warm water (don't mix until ready to use)
© 2006 Food Allergy Gourmet, All rights reserved