After cow’s milk, hen’s egg allergy is the second most common food allergy in infants and young children. Eggs are in so many foods. When you or your children are allergic to them, you need to know what to look for on food labels and what you can use instead when you cook or bake.
Most people with egg allergies react to the egg whites, not the yolk. To be safe, don’t eat either part. Even if you separate them, the yolk is likely to have some of the white’s proteins in it.
Also avoid eggs in other forms, such as:
- Egg powder
- Dried eggs
- Egg solids
22 Surprising Items Made With Eggs
You probably know that lots of baked goods have eggs in them. Many other items may also, including:
- Breaded and batter-fried foods
- Caesar salad dressing
- Cream pies, fillings, and puffs
- Crepes and waffles
- Custards, puddings, and ice cream
- Egg substitutes
- Coffee drinks like cappuccino (eggs are sometimes used to help create the foam)
- Lollipops and other candies
- Marshmallows and marzipan
- Meatloaf and meatballs
- Meringue and frostings
- Sauces, including Hollandaise and tartar sauce
- Simplesse (fat substitute)
- Some soups and consommés
- Wine (Egg whites may be used in the process of making wine.)
Eggs by Other Names
If you see these ingredients on food labels, it means the food may contain egg proteins:
What About Vaccines?
If you have an allergy to eggs, talk to your doctor first before getting a vaccination.
Flu vaccines may also contain some egg protein. Experts have long advised people with allergies to eggs not to get the flu shot. A study published in December 2017 in Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology found the flu shot to be safe and recommended its use for people who are allergic to eggs. Someone who is allergic to eggs is not at an increased risk of experiencing an adverse reaction to the flu vaccine.
It is no longer necessary to:
- See an allergy specialist for the flu shot.
- Give special flu shots that don't contain traces of egg.
- Require longer-than-normal observation periods after the shot.
Ask about egg allergy before giving the vaccine.
There is a version of the flu vaccine, called Flublok, that’s made without using eggs. It’s approved for adults ages 18 to 49.
The only way to know for sure if a food has eggs in it is to read the food label and ingredients list carefully, or ask about menu items at restaurants. Steer clear of items from salad bars, deli counters, and bakeries, which are more likely to accidentally have some of your allergy trigger in them. If you still aren't sure, don’t eat the food.
Also check labels of cosmetics, shampoos, creams, and lotions. These can sometimes have eggs in them, too.
There were concerns that an anesthesia medicine called propofol has egg protein in it and may cause a reaction in those who are allergic to eggs. The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology, however, released a statement that propofol can be used even in people who are allergic to eggs.
Most young children outgrow their egg allergy, but to be sure, ask your child’s doctor.