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When someone with a food allergy is allergic to eggs, their immune system reacts to the proteins in the egg when it is eaten or comes in contact with the body. Some people are allergic to both the egg white and yolk, while others are allergic to one or the other.
Egg allergy can cause a variety of symptoms:
• Skin – rashes, hives, eczema, redness, or swelling around the mouth
• Gastrointestinal – (stomach and intestines) stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
• Respiratory – runny nose, itchy eyes, watery eyes, sneezing, difficulty breathing
Avoiding whole eggs may seem like a simple change in your menus. In reality, eggs are found in many foods including:
• Most baked goods including cookies, cakes, and crackers
• Pasta and noodles
• Desserts including ice cream, custard, pudding, and jelly beans
• Baking powder
• Breading used on many fried foods including chicken tenders and fried vegetables
• Sauces including hollandaise, béarnaise, and mayonnaise
• Meat dishes including meatloaf, meatballs, and sausages
Some vaccinations such as the flu shot may also contain ingredients that can trigger an allergic reaction in someone who has an egg allergy. Ask your doctor if you should get a flu shot if you have an egg allergy.
Cooking without eggs means you need to figure out why eggs were used in the recipe. Egg whites may be used as a source of protein which helps hold a baked item together. In a sauce, eggs may be a thickening agent, and in a batter, eggs may be used to help the batter stick to the meat or vegetable.
Some foods are so dependent on eggs that there is really no good way to replace them in the recipe. For example, meringue is basically whipped egg whites. Nothing else will create the same flavor and texture. But for many dishes, you can find recipes with effective substitutes. Be sure to keep a record of what you try and what the result is, whether it is good or bad.
One product that may help, especially in baking, is called Egg Replacer. You can find it online, or at some health food stores and large grocery stores.