‘Tis the Season to Be Cautious About Hidden Food Allergies

 In Allergy, Blog, Food Allergies

The holiday season is here. Over the next month, many people will attend large dinner parties with mixed company and banquets serving traditional holiday dishes. For people with food allergies, these settings provide some challenges. Asking hosts if they used an egg wash on their pie crust or nuts in their salad could feel awkward. But more disruptive would be a severe allergic reaction at the dinner table. So here are some common holiday foods that may contain hidden food allergens.


Don’t have an allergy to turkey? Not many people do. But self-basting turkey can contain soy, wheat, and dairy, depending on how it is prepared.


Vegetable dishes can also be sneaky. Few people are allergic to vegetables, but many holiday dishes with vegetables are prepared using other ingredients. Green bean casserole, for example, can contain dairy and wheat. Other casseroles may contain eggs or nuts. Sweet potato casserole will often have dairy and nuts. These ingredients are not always obvious but are still dangerous to someone with a severe allergy.

Sauces and Dressings

Scooping some brown gravy on turkey or eating salad that has been pre-dressed could expose a person to dairy, eggs, fish, shellfish, or flour. Sauces, too, might use any number of potential allergens – like wheat or dairy – as thickening agents or roux.


Cookies, cakes, and pies contain many common allergens. Wheat is perhaps the most obvious, but pecans or other nuts are common in crusts or mixed into fillings or dough; egg washes are often used on crusts; dairy is used in icing. While some traditional deserts may be safe, those with the most common allergies to dairy, wheat, and nuts should be very cautious.

Get Tested

If you suspect you have a food allergy, this is a good time to get tested. Asthma & Allergy Associates in Colorado Springs diagnose food allergies, and we can provide you with treatment options and suggestions on how to avoid allergens. Contact us today for more information.

This article was recently updated. Originally published on November 22, 2017.

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