Egg allergy is much more common in young children than in adults, but most children will eventually outgrow it. This is just one important reason why a child with a food allergy should be seen by an Allergy Specialist.
An egg allergy can be to all forms of egg (well-cooked, loosely cooked and raw), or only to loosely cooked and raw egg. This means that you only need to avoid the forms of egg which you react to.
In fact, many people with egg allergy can eat baked foods containing well-cooked egg without a problem, and research has demonstrated that 70-80% of children with an egg allergy can eat plain cakes and biscuits containing egg.
However, reactions are often quite severe in those who are allergic even to well-cooked egg, so it’s essential that any child with an egg allergy is tested first under specialist medical supervision (in a hospital allergy clinic, for example) before foods like cakes and biscuits containing egg are given to them.
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.
Tip: Make sure you read food labels carefully as there are some items on the above list which can easily be found on normal supermarket shelves and happen to be egg free.
Free from lists:
Manufacturers and supermarkets often produce a list of own-brand products that are free from egg, which are available free of charge.
Important tip: Remember to read the food labels every time, as ingredients often change and you don't want to be caught out. It pays to keep vigilant.
Non-food items containing egg
Allergens aren’t just contained in foodstuffs; there are other products which you should be aware of if you suffer from egg allergy. Cosmetics, toiletries, perfumes and medications can cause allergic reactions, but they must, by law, 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, but only avoid these if they caused irritation – they aren’t often a problem.
These don’t have any nutritional value but are useful in cooking. Some whole egg replacers are available on prescription (ask your GP), but whole egg replacers and egg white replacers can also be bought 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’s also easy to make egg-free cakes without them – you can check out the Allergy UK website for recipes, or give them a call for further information. For example, baking powder helps a recipe rise, while pureed apple can be used as a binding agent.
Egg free substitute foods, these are available from health food shops and some supermarkets:
• Egg (and milk) free mayonnaise- e.g. Plamil
• Egg free cakes & muffins
• Egg free quiche (also milk free, wheat free & gluten free)
Normal recipes can be adapted using egg replacers or other ingredients, while vegan recipes are all egg free by definition.
Tip: Adapt cake, muffin and other baking recipes by using either egg replacers or a teaspoon of baking powder in place of each egg.