Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Allergies Health Center

Font Size

Egg Allergies: Spotting Problems on Food Labels

With a food allergy, it’s always important for you to know what you’re eating. Reading labels is your best way to stay safe. Here are some tips and tricks to make it work for you.

Any packaged food has to show on the label if it contains milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, or soybeans. Look on the food label -- "Contains: Eggs" -- or the ingredients list.

Recommended Related to Allergies

Relief for Allergies at School

Help your child manage allergies at school with these tips. Help Kids Claim Their Fame: Kids with allergies or asthma can excel in sports. But they won't have stamina if allergies are uncontrolled. Make sure kids take medications! Circle of Support: Help kids get support at school. Meet with teachers, the nurse, and the coach to discuss the child's allergies or asthma. Develop a game plan. Game Plan: Give the school nurse an "allergy card" with critical details -- your child's...

Read the Relief for Allergies at School article > >

Egg: Words to Watch For

If you're allergic to eggs and you see one of these names in the ingredient list, don't buy it.

  • Albumin (or albumen)
  • Eggs (all types)
  • Eggnog
  • Fat substitutes
  • Lecithin
  • Lysozyme
  • Mayonnaise
  • Meringue
  • Ovalbumin
  • Surimi
  • Vitellin

 

Where Eggs Hide

  • Noodles and pasta may have egg in them.
  • Meatballs and meatloaf often have egg.
  • Bagels, pretzels, and other baked goods get their shiny appearance from egg white.
  • Watch out for eggs in foods like breakfast cereals, ice cream, and even egg substitutes.

How to Choose Safe Foods

  • Stick with packaged and labeled foods. Foods from salad bars, deli counters, and bakeries are more likely to accidentally have your allergy triggers in them.
  • Read food labels every time you buy a product -- even if it's something you buy every week. Food manufacturers change ingredients all the time. A food that has been safe for you and your family may not always be OK.
  • If you see an ingredient you're not sure about, be careful. Look it up first. Contact the manufacturer if you need more info.
  • Buying a different size or low-fat version? Read the label. Low-fat or reduced-calorie versions of familiar foods may have very different ingredients. Sizing (like snack-sized packs) or packaging (a can instead of a carton) can affect ingredients. Some products may have different ingredients in different parts of the country.
  • Check labels on medications and toiletries. Food allergens can show up in drugs, cosmetics, shampoos, soaps, and lotions.
  • Do ask and tell. At restaurants, let the staff, servers, managers, cooks, or chef know about your food allergy and special accommodations that you might need. Don’t be shy about asking how a dish is prepared. Sometimes it can be hard to tell everything that is in a dish based on how it is listed on the menu.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Hansa D. Bhargava, MD on October 26, 2012

Today on WebMD

man blowing nose
Make these tweaks to your diet, home, and lifestyle.
Allergy capsule
Breathe easier with these products.
 
cat on couch
Live in harmony with your cat or dog.
Woman sneezing with tissue in meadow
Which ones affect you?
 

woman sneezing
Slideshow
Bottle of allergy capsules and daisies
Article
 
Urban blossoms
Slideshow
Woman blowing nose
Slideshow
 

Woman with itchy watery eyes
Slideshow
Allergy prick test
VIDEO
 
Man sneezing into tissue
Tools
woman with duster crinkling nose
Quiz