Q: If my child’s allergic to chicken eggs, could I safely cook for him using quail eggs?
Dr. Sharma: People with allergy to hen’s eggs are generally also allergic to other bird eggs, including quail, turkey, duck, goose and seagull.
This is called cross-reactivity, which occurs because of the similarity in the protein structures among these various bird eggs.
Severe Reaction Possible
While it’s possible to be allergic to one type of bird egg but not others, that is rare. It’s more common to have the 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. He co-authors “The Food Allergy Experts” column in Allergic Living‘s e-magazine. Questions submitted will be considered for answer in the e-magazine.Submit a Question View all posts by this medical expert.