The 14 Food Allergens - Egg
Eggs, along with their original form when boiled, scrambled, poached or fried are often found in cakes, mousses, quiche, pastries brushed with egg, pasta dishes, and many more.
Eggs are classed as one of the 14 main food allergens. Food businesses need to tell customers if any food they provide contains any of the 14 major food allergens as an ingredient.
Consumers that have an allergy or have an intolerance to other ingredients, but only the 14 allergens are required to be declared as allergens by food law.
The 14 allergens are celery, cereals containing gluten (such as barley and oats), crustaceans (such as prawns, crabs and lobsters), eggs, fish, lupin, milk, molluscs (such as mussels and oysters), mustard, peanuts, sesame, soybeans, sulphur dioxide and sulphites (if the sulphur dioxide and sulphites are at a concentration of more than ten parts per million) and tree nuts (such as almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios and macadamia nuts).
Eggs are one of the most prevalent allergens among babies and young children; however, while most young children or babies with an allergy to eggs will outgrow it as they develop and get older, in rare circumstances, the allergy might persist until adulthood.
Allergic Reactions to Eggs
The severity of the reaction can vary based on the amount of egg consumed and how it is cooked. Allergic reactions are most commonly triggered by the protein section of the egg, which is the egg white.
Eggs do not need to be consumed to cause an allergic reaction, and it can be caused by touching a raw egg or by touching the eggshell in some individuals with high sensitivity to eggs.
Egg Allergy Symptoms
Symptoms of an egg allergy can occur within a few minutes or a few hours. Symptoms can include:
- Swelling in the lips, eyes, and face
- Stomach aches and cramps
Food Labelling for an Egg Allergy
Eggs are one of the main 14 food allergens. Therefore, food businesses must include in bold or highlight if eggs are an ingredient in the food product.
According to Allergy UK, up to 80% of those with an egg allergy can consume cakes if the egg is thoroughly cooked due to the structure of the egg protein being changed by heat which makes it less prone to induce allergic reactions.
Egg Allergy Foods to Avoid:
This list is not exhaustive:
- Hollandaise Sauce
- Sponge cakes
Ingredients to Avoid with an egg allergy:
This list is not exhaustive:
- Lysozyme – found in egg whites
- Avidin Globulin
- Egg (dried, yolk, white, powdered, solids)
Food manufacturers or businesses must include egg as an ingredient if it is included in a food product. If not, they can face many consequences including, risking customers’ health and safety, possible withdrawal or recalls of food products (costing businesses dearly) damage to their business’s public reputation and possible closure of business.
Find out more about the consequences that face food businesses if they do not adhere to the law here.
Eggs in recipes for baked goods generally play one of two roles: binder (to hold the ingredients together) or leavening agent (to help it rise). Depending on the function of the egg, it can often be substituted with other ingredients such as oil, mashed banana, fruit puree, or baking powder.
Commercial egg replacers can be bought in health food shops and can sometimes be useful. There are egg free recipe books available and a wide range of recipes can be found on the web or on the LiberEat page.
LiberEat Allergen Detection Technology
LiberEat’s Allergen Detection Technology provides an allergen safety blanket for food businesses. LiberEat offers a second line of defence for food businesses by detecting allergens and other harmful ingredients found in food. Food businesses can apply this technology directly to identify errors in allergen communications, preventing the risk of injury or loss of life in consumers.
Get in touch with us today to learn more about our Allergen Detection Technology, a SaaS offering for food safety and quality assurance.