Egg Allergy

Egg allergy is much more common in young children than in adults. Most children with egg allergy will outgrow it. This is just one important reason why a child with a food allergy should be seen by an Allergy Specialist.


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Egg allergy can be:

  1. to all forms of egg (well-cooked, loosely cooked and raw)
  2. only to loosely cooked and raw egg

You only need to avoid the forms of egg that you react to.

Many people with egg allergy can eat baked foods containing well-cooked egg without a problem. In fact, research has demonstrated that 70-80% of children with an egg allergy can eat plain cakes and biscuits containing egg. However, in those who are allergic even to well-cooked egg, the reactions are often severe. It is therefore essential that any child with an egg allergy is first tested under specialist medical supervision (for example, in a hospital allergy clinic) before foods (such as cakes and biscuits) containing egg are given to them.

Classification of egg containing foods

Well cooked egg Loosely cooked egg Raw egg
Plain Cakes Homemade meringues Mousse
Biscuits Lemon curd Fresh Mayonnaise
Dried egg pasta Quiche Some Ice creams, especially fresh and deluxe types
Prepared meat dishes and sausages containing egg Scrambled egg Some sorbets
  Boiled egg Royal icing (both fresh & powdered royal icing sugar)
Egg glaze on pastry Fried egg Horseradish sauce
Sponge fingers   Tartare sauce
Quorn or similar microprotein products Omelette

Raw egg in cake mix and other dishes awaiting cooking (Children of all ages can’t resist tasting them!)

Gravy granules (if they contain egg) Poached egg Some cheeses if they contain egg white lysozyme or other egg proteins.
Shop bought pre-cooked frozen Yorkshire puddings Egg in batter The fondant icing inside a Cadbury’s cream egg
Manufactured meringues Homemade products where egg is used to make breadcrumbs stick to fish/chicken etc Chocolate bars containing egg in their filling eg Milky Way and Mars Bar
Manufactured (shop bought) pancakes and Scotch pancakes Hollandaise sauce  
  Egg custard  
 

Homemade pancakes and Yorkshire pudding – especially those that contain any ‘sticky’ batter inside

 
   Bread & butter pudding  
  Fresh egg pasta  

This is only a guide. Do please check ingredients to ensure that you are:

  • not excluding foods unnecessarily
  • not eating foods that contain egg by mistake

It is easy to avoid eggs that are served on their own when they look like an egg; however they are often hidden in prepared and manufactured foods so beware…

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Labelling

Since November 2005, manufactured pre-packaged foods sold within the European Union have been required by law to clearly list egg in the ingredients panel where it is a component of the product, however tiny the amount.

This means that if a product contains egg or any egg derivatives, the product will have to be labelled accordingly. Outside the EU, labelling may not be as clear, as different food allergy labelling laws apply.

Since December 2014, packaged foods will also have to comply with this law and will therefore have to tell you if they contain egg. Depending on the severity of your allergic reaction to egg you may still choose to avoid these foods if cross contamination (transfer of allergens from other foods) is an issue for you.

Examples of non-packaged foods are listed below:

Foods/drinks served in:

Restaurants, pubs, market stalls, school dinners, buffets, trains, planes, ice cream vans, fast food outlets, etc.

Manufactured products likely to contain egg include:

Quiche and flans (fruit and savoury), cakes, (sponges and sponge fingers, trifle) some biscuits, choux pastry, pancakes, Yorkshire pudding, batter, meringues, lemon curd, some marshmallows, waffles, some confectionery, egg pasta, egg noodles, egg fried rice, pate, processed meats, sausages, processed fish and chicken products, mayonnaise, Quorn products, marzipan and royal icing, ice cream, mousses, doughnuts, pies, chocolate bars (e.g. Mars Bar, Snickers, Wagon Wheel), custard tarts, egg custard, cream caramels, pastry could be glazed with egg.

Vegetable burgers and other vegetarian products need checking.

Do read food labels carefully as there are some items on the above list that can easily be found on normal supermarket shelves and they happen to be egg free.

Free from lists

Manufacturers and supermarkets often produce a list of own brand products that are free from egg. These are available free of charge. Some are available online.

REMEMBER TO READ THE FOOD LABELS EVERY TIME AS INGREDIENTS OFTEN CHANGE and you don't want to be caught out. Keep vigilant.

Non-food items containing egg

These can be identified by reading the ingredients label. By law cosmetics, toiletries, perfumes and medications include a list of ingredients on their packaging. Where the labelling is in Latin, the words you need to look for are OVUM or OVO. However only avoid these if they caused irritation – they are often not a problem.

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Egg Replacers

These have no nutritional value but are useful in cooking. Some whole egg replacers are available on prescription (ask your GP). Whole egg replacers and egg white replacers can also be purchased from your pharmacist or health food shop.

Whole egg replacers

  • Ener-G egg replacer (General Dietary)

  • Loprofin egg replacer (SHS)

  • No-egg replacer (Orgran)

Egg White replacer

Loprofin egg white replacer (SHS)

Egg replacers are useful but it is also easy to make egg free cakes without them – look on the Allergy UK website for recipe information or call the Allergy UK Helpline for further information if you are not able to go online.  Baking powder helps a recipe rise; pureed apple can be used as a binding agent.  For more ideas visit www.egglesscooking.com.

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Egg free substitute foods

 

These are available from health food shops, some supermarkets and www.goodnessdirect.co.uk

Egg free mayonnaise (6 flavours) - (is also milk free) e.g., Plamil

Egg free cakes & muffins

Egg free quiche (also milk free, wheat free & gluten free)

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Recipes/baking

  • Recipes can be adapted using egg replacers or other ingredients
  • Vegan recipes are all egg free by definition – invest in a vegan cookbook or get some recipes from the Vegan Society or a vegan website e.g., www.veganvillage.co.uk
  • Egg free cookery books are available
  • Adapt cake, muffin and other baking recipes by using either egg replacers or a teaspoon of baking powder in place of each egg
  • Allergy UK has some delicious egg free recipes on its website
  • Ask your dietitian for some egg free recipes

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Egg allergy and medication 

Certain medicines may contain traces of egg and should therefore be avoided if you are allergic to egg. These are the yellow fever vaccine and the new nasal spray influenza (flu) vaccine Fluenz®. The traditional flu vaccine given by injection is safe for egg allergy sufferers. For more advice on immunisations including the flu vaccine see http://www.allergyuk.org/advice-for-parents-with-a-new-baby/immunisations

Many people ask if the MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccine should be given to those with egg allergy. The MMR vaccine does not contain any egg protein and is considered to be safe but any concerns should be discussed with your GP.

 

 

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Last updated: January 2015                        Next review date: January 2017
Version 7