Eggs

Eggs are listed as a priority allergen in Canada. This page focuses on facts specific to egg allergy, available resources, and special considerations related to this allergen.
On this page: Statistics and facts on egg allergy >
Egg allergy reference guide >
    Terms that may indicate the presence of eggs
    Foods that are likely and possible sources of eggs
    Possible sources of eggs in commonly used products
    Cooking without eggs and egg replacement
Helpful resources and egg-free recipes >

Data and statistics on egg allergy

  • Egg allergy affects 1% of children under 18 years of age and 0.5% of adults in Canada[i].
  • Up to 80% of egg allergies are outgrown by the age of 18[ii].
  • 60% to 70% of people with egg allergy can tolerate eggs when cooked and included in a recipe (e.g., muffins, cakes, cookies)[iii]. Heat alters the structure of certain allergenic proteins in eggs and the allergenic potential is decreased. The combination of multiple ingredients and the presence of wheat makes the allergenic molecules in eggs less recognisable by IgE[iv].
  • Children who tolerate cooked egg are more likely to outgrow their allergy than those who do not [v].
  • The allergenic proteins in eggs are present in both the yolk and the white, but the yolk is considered less allergenic.[vi].
  • Over twenty different proteins have been identified in eggs [vii]. Ovalbumin, ovomucoid, ovomucin, and lysozyme are considered the most allergenic.
  • With the exception of the yellow fever vaccine, the Quebec Immunization Protocol does not consider egg allergy as a medical contraindication to vaccination. Although some vaccines are also manufactured using chicken embryos (influenza, MMR (measles, rubella and mumps) and Rabevert (rabies), current evidence indicates that egg proteins found in vaccines manufactured using chicken embryos are insufficient to induce an allergic reaction.
  • Some medication may contain egg-based ingredients. For example, Diprivan® (propofol), which is used for anaesthesia and sedation, contains egg phosphatidate[ix]. Caution should be exercised when administering such drugs to people with egg allergy.

Eggs REFERENCE GUIDE

Eggs REFERENCE GUIDE, PDF format (0,5 Mo) (in French)
Terms that may indicate the presence of eggs (non-exhaustive list)
Albumen Mayonnaise Albumin powder
Egg albumin Meringue Egg powder
Egg white Ovalbumin Ovolactohydrolyzed proteins
Conalbumin Ovoglobulin Quiches
Globulin Ovomacroglobulin Silico-albuminate
Egg yolk Ovomucine Simpless®
Eggnog Ovomucoid Egg substitutes (e.g. Egg Beaters®, yolk, etc.)
Livetin Ovotransferrin Egg
Lysozyme Ovovitellin Liquid eggs
Animal lecithin Egg white powder Egg lecithin
Egg yolk powder
Health Canada’s food allergen labelling regulations established in 2012 prohibit use of the following terms: Manufacturers must declare the presence of eggs in the list of ingredients, either on the label of their product or in the words “Contains”. However, it is important to keep those terms in mind when travelling, as regulations vary from one country to another. In some cases, it may also be useful to know them when we are offered homemade or artisanal products.
Foods that are likely sources of eggs (non-exhaustive list)
Albumin Meringues Ovaltine®
Custard Fresh pasta products Sauces
English cream Milk pudding Salad dressing
Pastry cream Nougat Meat substitutes
Cream-filled desserts Orange Julep®
Foods that are possible sources of eggs (non-exhaustive list)
Binding and filling agents (used in meat, poultry, and fish preparations) Confections Baked products and muffins
Baby food Ice Cream Seafood imitation products (e.g. crab-flavoured pollock)
Cookies Cheese (with lysozyme) Sausages
Artisanal spruce and malt beers Glazing Flavoring
Alcoholic drinks and cocktails Lecithin Maple syrup
Hard candies Foam/whipped coffee filling Sorbets
Broths and wines clarified with egg whites (fining) Blends for malted beverages Soups
Bretzels Breadcrumbs Patisserie
Deli meats Pasta products Salad dressing
Cocktails Pastries
Possible sources of eggs in commonly used products (non-exhaustive list)
Anesthetics such as Diprivan® (propofol) Arts and crafts materials Haircare products
Some vaccines (e. g. measles-rubella-mumps) Medicines
Note: To find out if common products contain eggs, it is important to read the labels and contact the manufacturer. Food allergen labelling regulations apply only to packaged foods, they do not apply to non-food products.
Egg replacements and cooking without eggs As a binder:
  • ½ mashed banana
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds + 3 tablespoons warm water (let stand 1 minute before using)
  • ¼ cup apple sauce or pureed fruit
  • 1 sachet of unflavoured gelatine + 2 tablespoons (30 ml) water
  • Commercial egg replacements (e.g. Celimix®, Ener-g®). Be careful not to confuse this with egg substitutes, which contain egg
As a raising agent:
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking powder + 1 ½ tablespoon water + 1 ½ tablespoon vegetable oil or vinegar
  • Commercial egg replacements (e.g. Celimix®, Ener-g®). Be careful not to confuse these with egg substitutes, which contain eggs.

Egg-free recipes and resources

Recipes

Resources

[i] Soller, S et coll. (2015). Adjusting for nonresponse bias corrects overestimates of food allergy prevalence. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 3(2), 291-293. DOI 10.1016/j.jaip.2014.11.006 [ii] Savage, J. H. et coll. (2008). The natural history of egg allergy. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, 120(6):1413-1417. Repéré à DOI 10.1016/j.jaci.2007.09.040 [iii] Association des allergologues et immunologues du Québec. (2016). Allergie à l’œuf de poule. Repéré à http://www.allerg.qc.ca/Information_allergique/3_3d_oeuf.html [iv] Kosti, R. I. et coll. (2012). Food allergen selective thermal regimens may change oral tolerance in infancy. Allergologia and Immunopathologia, 41(6). Repéré à DOI 10.1016/j.aller.2012.08.011 [v] Dang, T. D. et coll. (2016). Debates in allergy medicine: baked egg and milk do not accelerate tolerance to egg and milk. World Allergy Organization Journal, 9:2. Repéré à DOI 10.1186/s40413-015-0090-z [vi] Benedé, S. et coll. (2015). Egg proteins as allergens and the effects of the food matrix and processing. Food & Function, 6:694-713. Repéré à DOI 10.1039/c4fo01104j [vii] Mine, Y. et Yang, M. (2008). Recent advances in the understanding of egg allergens: basic, industrial and clinical perspective. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 56(13):4874-4900. Repéré à DOI 10.1021/jf8001153 [viii] Chapitre 1 – 1.2.2.1 Allergie à l’un des composants du vaccin. (2016). Protocole d’immunisation du Québec. Repéré à http://publications.msss.gouv.qc.ca/msss/fichiers/piq/html/web/Piq.htm#Allergie_composants_vaccin.htm [ix] Astra Zeneca. (2012). Monographie du Diprivan® [PDF]. Repéré à https://www.astrazeneca.ca/content/dam/azca/frenchassets/Ourmedicines/Diprivan%20-%20Monographie.pd…