Egg Allergy

Egg allergy is much more common in young children than in adults. Most children with egg allergy will outgrow it with age. 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 problem. In fact, research has demonstrated that over 50% of children with egg allergy can eat 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
Cakes Meringues Fresh 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
Fresh egg pasta boiled for over 10 minutes Boiled egg Royal icing (both fresh & powdered Royal icing sugar)
Egg glaze on pastry Fried egg Horseradish sauce
Sponge fingers   Tartare sauce
Quorn 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 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  
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  

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

  • not excluding foods that are egg free 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 of the following egg derivatives, the product will have to be labelled accordingly. Outside the EU, labelling may not be as clear, so use the following list to help you when reading food labels.

Remember that foods sold loose e.g. bakery and delicatessen items, do not have to comply with this law and therefore may contain egg either as an ingredient, or in traces from cross contamination, so they should be avoided.

Egg/fresh egg (including those from all birds)

Egg powder, dried egg, frozen egg, pasturised egg

Egg proteins (Albumin, ovalbumin, globulin, ovoglobulin, livetin, ovomucin, vitellin, ovovitellin)

Egg white, egg yolk

Egg lecithin (E322)

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 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 produce a list of own brand products that are free from egg. These are available free of charge. Some are available online. There is also a phone app available to help you identify egg Non-food items containing egg.

free products by scanning the barcode on a product. They will help you to identify which foods are safe to eat and should make your diet more interesting and nutritious.

REMEMBER TO READ THE FOOD LABELS EVERY TIME AS INGREDIENTS OFTEN CHANGE.

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.

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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

  • Whole egg replacer (Allergycare)
  • 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 helpline for further information if you are not able to go online. Baking powders help 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) (an egg free, milk free, soya free version is also available)

Egg free cakes & muffins

Egg free omelette mix (contains milk protein)

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: October 2012

 

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