An allergic reaction to eggs happens when the body's immune system overreacts to the proteins in egg whites or yolks. Egg allergies are common in children. Many children outgrow the allergy. But some don't and are allergic to eggs throughout their lifetime.
The key to an allergy-free diet is to stay away from foods or products containing the food to which you are allergic.
Eggs are a commonly used food that may cause food allergy reactions. It isn't hard to eliminate eggs. But it may be challenging to stay away from food products that contain eggs. To do so, you must read food labels.
The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requires U.S. packaged foods to state clearly on the label if they contain egg.
Always read the entire ingredient label to look for egg. Egg ingredients may be within the ingredient list. Or egg could be listed in a “contains egg” statement after the ingredient list. Stay away from foods that contain any of these ingredients:
Lysozyme (used in Europe)
Foods that don't contain egg could be contaminated during manufacturing. Advisory statements are not regulated by the FDA. They are voluntary. These include labels such as "processed in a facility that also processed egg" or "made on shared equipment." Ask your healthcare provider if you may eat foods with these labels. You may need to stay away from them.
A shiny glaze or yellow-colored baked goods may indicate the presence of egg.
Egg whites and shells may be used as clarifying agents in soup stocks, consommes, bouillons, and coffees.
Salad dressings, ice cream, and frosting might contain eggs. Read all labels carefully.
There are some foods and products that are not covered by FALCPA. These include:
Foods that are not regulated by the FDA
Cosmetics and personal care items
Prescription and over-the-counter medicines and supplements
Toys and crafts
For each egg, substitute 1 of the following combinations:
3 tablespoons applesauce (unsweetened or sweetened)
½ medium banana, mashed
1 tablespoon ground flax seed mixed in 3 tablespoons of warm water (wait for 1 minute before using)
1 cup boiling water mixed with 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin (use 3½ tablespoons of the mixture to replace 1 egg)
Vegan commercial egg replacements (read all labels carefully to make sure there are no egg products)
Always carry 2 epinephrine autoinjectors. Make sure you and those close to you know how to use it.
If you don't have epinephrine autoinjectors, talk with your healthcare provider. Ask if you should carry them.
Wear a medical alert bracelet or necklace with your allergy information.
In a restaurant, food may be cross-contaminated with egg. Always alert your server about your allergy even if you are not ordering eggs.
Always read the entire food label.
Always ask about ingredients at restaurants.
Ask about ingredients at restaurants even if they are foods that you have eaten in the past or if it's a restaurant that you have eaten at before.
Don't eat at buffets with egg. This reduces your risk of cross-contaminated foods from shared utensils.