Open flat carton of eggs.


Hens' eggs represent a major food allergen source worldwide and are thus included in the Big-8 listing. Eggs are a basic food component, commonly introduced into the diet within the first year of life. A high prevalence of egg allergy is observed especially in children23,24. However, similar to cows' milk allergy, egg allergy is often outgrown in the first six years of life.

Symptoms of hens' egg allergy are frequently manifested as reactions of the digestive system. Often the first skin reactions are observed only minutes after consumption, while gastrointestinal symptoms can vary in time of onset, severity and duration25. Anaphylactic and respiratory reactions after ingestion of egg proteins have also been reported26,27.

Major proteins involved in egg allergy are located in the egg white (e.g. ovalbumin, ovomucoid, ovotransferrin, lysozyme), whilst egg yolk proteins appear to trigger allergic reactions infrequently. Most egg white allergens retain their allergenicity after heating. Due to the similarity of the egg proteins in eggs from other bird species (e.g. goose, duck) individuals sensitized to hens' egg commonly react to eggs of other species. Consumption of poultry meat is usually not problematic28.

Individuals with egg allergy need to avoid typical egg-containing foods and, due to the widespread use of egg in processed foods often have to avoid many baked goods, mayonnaise, some pasta, salad dressings as well as cosmetics and medical products (e.g. hair-care products, anesthetics, vaccines).

For more detailed information on these foods please follow the links:

Brown hen's eggs.
Hen's Eggs


Hen's Egg

Updated 10 March, 2014