When you have an allergy or intolerance to anything, common sense tells you to avoid that item. If you are allergic to peanuts, then you would not make yourself a PB&J for a midnight snack. If you are allergic to penicillin, then your doctor would not prescribe any medications that have penicillin in them. So common sense tells you to not have scrambled eggs for breakfast if you are allergic to eggs. If only it were that easy.
Eggs and egg protein are in more products than one might realize. Eggs are used as an emulsifier in many products so they will mix better. When at home, you can replace eggs with something such as applesauce or oil and baking powder and you will get the same results. If you are dining out, you can let the waitress or waiter know of your allergy or intolerance, and they can find out from the cook staff if your choices are free of that product. When you are out grocery shopping, however, it can be a bit trickier if you aren’t sure what to look for.
As of January 2006, FDA labeling laws mandated that foods containing eggs must be clearly marked on food labels. The problem with this is that not all foods and products are covered by the FDA, so you must know what to look for when reading labels. Another problem is that the ingredients in a product can change without notice, so you don’t want to make the mistake of reading a label just once. If it is a regular item that you buy, check the label periodically to see if any ingredients have been added that might be harmful to you.
The following list contains ingredients where egg protein is present. If you see one of the following on the label and you have an intolerance to eggs, you do not want to purchase it. It is best to print a copy until you get used to all of them.
- Silici Albuminate
The main rule of thumb is to not assume anything. If a product comes in more than one size, it is possible the ingredients could be slightly different for each size. If the same product is manufactured at more than one location the ingredients could slightly vary. If the product is a food that is regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, then it does not need to clearly state that it contains eggs.
Also, there are over 70 different vitamins and minerals in eggs so they are used in products other than food items. Medications, shampoos, pet products, mouthwash, etc. can all contain some form of egg, so make sure you check the label on non-food items if you will be in direct contact with them.
Carry your list with you, and if you are ever in doubt, call the manufacturer directly with your questions. The contact numbers are relatively easy to find on the Internet (or on the product itself).