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Is it safe for me to eat my food allergen, if it has been cooked?

This is a really good and practical question. Cooking foods does not reliably destroy or remove food allergens. This is even with high heat and other methods of food processing. It doesn’t ensure that it will be safe for people with food allergies.

You can't always predict how specific foods will respond to cooking and heat. This can be different depending on the allergen. For example, certain people with allergies to cow milk and eggs can eat baked milk and baked eggs safely. This is because certain proteins are partly destroyed by heating and binding with other proteins (greater than 350Β° F for at least 30 minutes). Only some people with an allergy can tolerate cooked cow milk or eggs. Speak with your allergist about whether baked milk or egg is right for you. Sometimes oral food challenges can be done in the allergy clinic with baked foods.

Allergens, such as peanuts and tree nuts, are not affected by heat for anyone with those allergies.

Food Allergy
Answered by

John M. James, MD, is a board-certified allergist. He is also President of Food Allergy Consulting and Education Services, LLC. He has worked as a medical specialist in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology for over 30 years. Dr. James received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.

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