Easter’s upon us and that means Easter egg hunts! Everywhere you turn, you’ll find eggs – chocolate eggs, coloured eggs, and plastic eggs. For those who are actually allergic to chicken eggs, it is best to know where they are hiding every day. We want to help! We have gathered a list of 20+ edible and non-edible items that you should avoid if you are allergic to eggs. One thing you do not have to worry about are our Sum-m! Spring Rolls. Our deliciously golden rolls are egg free! At Fine Choice Foods, we are happy to tell you that we do not use tree nuts, peanuts, and eggs in our facility.
Many North Americans use the term Egg Roll and Spring Roll interchangeably. This can cause confusion for our customers with egg allergies. We are often asked how our egg rolls can be free of eggs. Simply put, we don’t use eggs in our wrapper batter. However, if you are purchasing spring rolls (or egg rolls) from a grocery store or restaurant, we would recommend asking if eggs are used the wrapper.
Health Canada requires all food manufacturers to clearly label products if they contain one of the government’s priority allergy items. This means that all priority allergens must be listed on the ingredient list of both domestic and imported pre-packaged foods. An egg is considered a priority allergen by Health Canada. Keep in mind though, if you are reading this from outside of Canada, labelling requirements differ from country to country.
Other Names To Look Out For
There are a few ingredients that are related to the egg protein. If you see these words on the ingredient list on the food labels, your food may contain egg proteins.
Edible Items Made With Eggs
Breaded and Batter-fried Foods
More often than not, eggs are used as a binder for batter and breadcrumbs to adhere to the protein. Beware of fish and chips, chicken nuggets/strips, and Japanese Katsu just to name a few.
Sauces (Caesar salad dressing, Mayonnaise, Tartar, Bearnaise, Hollandaise & Newburg)
Egg yolks are used in many dressings and sauces as an emulsifier that binds two different liquids that cannot be mixed together. The most popular emulsion would be the combination of oil and vinegar. You can read all about emulsions here.
Aside from the obvious scrambled, sunny side up, and omelettes on your breakfast plate, eggs are also in crepe, pancake and waffle batter. In these particular items, eggs are used as a stabiliser to give them their shapes.
Candy, Chocolate, Marshmallow & Marzipan
In candy making, egg helps with the incorporation of air and also the binding of water, making them responsible for the product’s structure. Eggs are also used to control sugar-crystal growth in crystalline candy such as fondant, fudge and rock candies.
Did you know that jelly beans may be brushed with egg whites to give them their sheen?
Desserts & Pies
Any baked goods will most likely contain eggs unless otherwise noted. Items such as custards, puddings, ice cream, cream puffs, Icing, frosting, meringue, macarons, pies and glazes (egg wash) all contain egg in one form or another.
Prepared Meat Products
Eggs are often used as a binding agent in prepared meat products such as meatloaf, meatballs, hamburgers, hot dogs.
Pasta & Egg Noodles
Traditional pasta is made using eggs to bind all the ingredients together. Egg noodles use the same mixture of wheat and eggs with the exception that egg noodles require a higher proportion of eggs to wheat than regular pasta.
To clarify wines and to temper their astringency and bitterness, egg whites or albumen are used. Egg white proteins clarify by binding with the tiny particles that cloud wine, helping them settle at the bottom of the barrel. Egg whites are also used to give red wines around and soft texture.
Like wines, egg whites are often added into a broth, consume, and bouillon mixture as a clarifier. As the stock simmers and as you stir, any impurities and solids will begin to congeal and float to the surface of the liquid. This is caused by the protein in the egg whites. Once the ‘floaties’ are removed via skimming or a cheesecloth, you are left with clean, clear broth.
It’s also recommended for those with egg allergies that no canned soup should be eaten unless they are clearly labelled as egg-free.
Non-food Items That May Contain Egg
Vaccines (Flu Vaccine)
Billions of chicken eggs are used every year to make the flu vaccine. One egg for one dose of vaccine. The live flu virus is injected into incubated eggs, allowing the virus to multiply over the course of a few days. The live virus is then extracted from the egg and a chemical is used to deactivate the virus before it is split into smaller portions. A Flu vaccine is a mixture of multiple small portions of different strains so that we can be guarded against multiple varieties of flu.
Anesthetic & Sedatives
It is common practice for hospitals, doctors, and nurses to ask a patient if they are allergic to eggs before administering a sedative before a medical procedure. Sedatives such as Propofol may include egg lecithin in their formula. And if you have an allergy to, a different kind of sedative will be used.
Craft Materials (Tempera Paint)
Tempera paints can be homemade and also purchased in high-end craft stores. This permanent, fast-drying paint consists of pigment mixed with the contents of the egg yolk (without the membrane), and an agent such as vinegar, white wine, or water. Tempera paint was a primary method of paintings until after 1500 when the invention of oil painting came about. One popular piece of painting done in Tempera paint is The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli c. 1486.
Hair & Beauty Products
Eggs are rich in vitamins. The yolk is full of vitamin A, B, and D and zinc. All these make the yolk a perfect ingredient for re-texturizing, nourishing, and strengthening your skin and hair. Egg whites contain collagen and proteins which are great for toning and tightening of the skin. They also contain astringent properties which are great for cleaning out oily pores on both the face and scalp. Eggshell membrane also has the ability to draw out oil from pores and the shells, though less common, can be pulverised and used as a gentle skin exfoliant. That said, a lot of beauty brands have since included eggs into their formulas. A great example is Korean beauty brand, Too Cool for School, where they have a dedicated egg collection. Look for words like Albumen Extract, Egg Yolk Extract, and Lecithin in your product’s ingredient list.
Cooking & Baking Egg Substitutes
Do you know someone with an egg allergy who you can never bake goodies for? There may be a solution for you. Lucky Peach shared an Egg Substitute Guide on their website where you can substitute each egg for one of their recipes. For recipes calling for more than 3 eggs, this may not work as well. Happy Baking!
(Other Image Credits: www.pixabay.com)