Egg allergy is one of the eight most common allergies in the United States, and is covered under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA), which requires manufacturers to clearly list eggs on ingredient labels.
Even though this law exists, it is important to know how to read labels for egg ingredients. Foods such as bakery goods many not have ingredient warning labels. Always ask about egg ingredients when ordering food in a restaurant. Eggs are sometimes used to thicken sauces or clarify soups, so egg protein may be present in unexpected foods.
Names for Egg Protein
Egg protein may be present on a label under many different names. FALCPA requires manufacturers to list an egg warning that reads: “Contains: Egg” for these ingredients.
- Egg (white, yolk, dried, powdered, solids)
- Egg substitutes such as Egg Beaters
Foods that Commonly Contain Egg
Some of the foods that often contain eggs are:
- Baked goods – Bread, cakes, rolls, scones, croissants, etc.
- Béarnaise sauce
- Breaded foods (often dipped in eggs before dipping in breadcrumbs)
- Canned soup
- Energy bars
- Hollandaise sauce
- Ice cream
- Fresh pasta
- Malted beverages
- Protein shakes or liquid meal substitutes
- Protein powders
- Salad dressing
- Tartar sauce
- Meatballs or meatloaf
- Eggshells or whites may be used to clarify soup stocks, consommés, wine, and coffee drinks.
- Baked goods that have a yellow or shiny glaze have probably been brushed with an egg wash.
- “Vegan” means that a product does not contain eggs, milk, or meat products. Always double-check to make sure there are no egg ingredients in products labeled as vegan.
If you see the following statements on a label, the food may be cross-contaminated with egg. These warnings are generally voluntary, so some manufacturers may not include this information, even if there is egg present in their facility:
- "may contain eggs"
- "produced on shared equipment with eggs"
- "produced in a facility that also processes eggs"
Eggs in Baked Goods
If you have an egg allergy, can you tolerate eggs in baked goods? Read more about research on extensively heated eggs and egg allergies:
Food Allergy Initiative. Egg Allergy. Accessed 1/22/2011. http://www.faiusa.org/?page=egg
Lucile Packaged Children's Hospital, Stanford University. "Egg Allergy Diet." 19 Aug. 2008.