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.
Egg allergy can be:
- to all forms of egg (well-cooked, loosely cooked and raw)
- 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.
|Baked / Well-cooked egg||Loosely cooked egg||Undercooked / Raw egg|
|Plain Cakes||Homemade meringues||Fresh Mousse|
|Biscuits, e.g. Jaffa cakes, sponge fingers||Lemon curd||Mayonnaise|
|Dried egg pasta||Quiche / flan / Spanish tortilla||Some ice creams, especially fresh and deluxe types|
|Prepared meat dishes and sausages containing egg||Scrambled egg||Some sorbets|
|Waffles||Boiled egg||Royal icing (both fresh & powdered royal icing sugar)|
|Egg glaze on pastry||Fried egg, Egg fried rice||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, breadcrumbs e.g. Scotch egg||Salad cream|
|Manufactured meringues||Homemade products where egg is used to make breadcrumbs to stick to fish/chicken etc||”Frico” edam cheese or other cheeses that contain egg white lysozyme|
|Manufactured (shop bought) pancakes and Scotch pancakes||Hollandaise sauce|
|Chocolate bars containing egg in their filling e.g. Nougat, Milky Way and Mars Bar, Chewitts||Egg custard, Crème Brulèe, Crème caramel|
|Dried egg noodles, well-cooked fresh egg pasta||
Homemade pancakes and some Yorkshire pudding – especially those that contain any ‘sticky’ batter inside
|Some soft-centred chocolates||Bread & butter pudding|
|Fresh egg pasta|
|Commercial marzipan||Tempura batter|
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…
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, paté, 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.
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.
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)
- 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
Inactivated influenza vaccines, given by injection, that are egg-free or have a very low ovalbumin content are safe for individuals with egg allergy (des Roches et al., 2012). The BSACI (British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology) have advised that children with egg allergy can safely be vaccinated with the nasal influenza vaccine in any setting including your GP surgery and schools. Facilities should be available and staff trained to recognise and treat anaphylaxis.
The exception is for children who have previously required admission to an intensive care unit for severe anaphylaxis to egg; these children should be referred to a specialist for immunisation in hospital.
Inactivated (injected) influenza vaccines that are egg free or have an ovalbumin content < 0.12 ìg/ml may be used safely in individuals with egg allergy, in primary care.
Further information can be found in the Department of Health Green Book, the reference for all health care professionals administering vaccines.
The yellow fever vaccine may contain traces of egg and should be avoided if you are allergic to egg. The vaccines against yellow fever and typhus are produced in a similar way to influenza. However, this vaccine is not a routine part of the UK immunisation schedule and are usually only given to people travelling abroad to high-risk destinations.
All available information about immunisation and allergy points to the fact that immunisation in children who are at high risk of developing allergy is safe and not a factor in their future allergic conditions.
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.
Last updated: January 2015 Next review date: January 2018