Are Quail Eggs Safe to Eat for a Child with Egg Allergy?

Published: October 3, 2013
Are Quail Eggs Safe to Eat for a Child with Egg Allergy?Photo: Getty

Q: If my child is allergic to chicken eggs, could I safely cook for him using quail eggs instead?

Dr. Sharma: People with allergy to hen’s eggs are usually also allergic to other bird eggs. So, this includes quail eggs, as well as those of turkey, duck, goose and seagull.

This is called cross-reactivity, and it occurs because of the similarity in the protein structures among these various bird eggs.

Cross-Reaction to Quail Egg

While it is possible to be allergic to one type of bird egg but not others, that is rare. It’s much more common to have cross-reactivity.

Anaphylaxis to quail egg has been reported in those with hen’s egg allergy. So the usual allergist recommendation for someone with hen’s egg allergy would be to avoid all other bird eggs.

Dr. Sharma is an allergist, clinical researcher and associate professor of pediatrics. He is Chief of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Children’s National Medical Center in Washington D.C. and Director of the Food Allergy Program. Food allergy questions submitted will be considered for answer on the website.

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