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Health Ideas

Egg Allergy

What is an egg allergy?
An egg allergy is caused by an immune reaction to egg proteins. The proteins responsible for egg allergy are mostly present in egg white, but some proteins in egg yolk may also cause allergic reactions. Egg allergy is much more common in children under the age of five, and will cause a more severe reaction in children than in adults.

The most common symptoms of egg allergy include abdominal pain, diarrhea and vomiting, skin conditions such as eczema and hives, breathing problems and occasionally anaphylaxis.

If there is a known or suspected allergy to egg, a totally egg-free diet is essential at first. If you eat egg proteins, there is a risk of an allergic reaction, so all products containing egg or components of egg must be avoided. Even some egg substitutes contain egg white, so pay close attention to product labels and ingredients.

Reading Food Labels for Egg

Always read the label. Look for the word "egg" in the ingredients list or a statement such as "contains egg" at the end of the list. Avoid the following foods and ingredients if you are on an egg-free diet:

  • Egg products (eggs, egg white, egg yolk, egg powder, egg protein, egg from all other poultry)
  • Globulin
  • Livetin
  • Mayonnaise
  • Ovalbumin
  • Ovoglobulin
  • Ovomucin
  • Ovomucoid
  • Ovovitellin
  • Vitellin

Hidden Sources of Egg
  • Some salad dressings including Caesar
  • Sauces including Hollandaise, Béarnaise, and Newburg
  • Battered foods
  • Pancakes and waffles
  • Candy made with egg, including nougat
  • Meatloaf and sausage (egg is sometimes used as a binding agent)
  • Commercial, low-cholesterol, egg replacements
Baking Tips
For each egg, substitute one of the following in recipes:
  • 1 tsp baking powder, 1 T liquid, 1 T vinegar
  • 1 tsp yeast dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1½ T water, 1½ T oil, 1 tsp egg-free baking powder
  • 1 packet gelatin, 2 T warm water. Do not mix until ready to use.

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