Key Allergens

Chicken are in the Phasianidae family of animals. Other animals in this family include pheasants, quail, turkey, peacocks and a variety of other game birds.

The main protein associated with eating poultry is chicken serum albumin (which is identical to alpha livetin found in egg yolk). This is also known as Gal d 5.

This is a partially heat-labile allergen (partially damaged by heat); Small studies have shown that IgE reactivity to Chicken albumin was reduced by 88% after heating at 90 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.

The alpha livetin protein is partially heat labile, so some sufferers will only get reactions from raw chicken and others may get reactions depending on how high a temperature the meat was cooked at and how long for.

There is anecdotal evidence that people may be unable to eat cooked fresh chicken without having allergic symptoms but are able to eat chicken which has been fully frozen before being thawed, cooked, and eaten. This can be explained by a protein shape change caused by freezing or by cooking for an extended period, essentially damaging the protein so it cannot cause a reaction.

Gal d 8 is a alpha-parvalbumin protein, these proteins are also frequently found in fish. They are very stable proteins, so able to cause reactions when cooked or as vapour during cooking.

Gal d 9 is an enolase protein and Gal d 10 an aldolase protein. These are allergenic proteins also found in certain species of fish.

Food Intolerances

Food is low in FODMAP Food is low in salicylates

Chicken is a low FODMAP food. FODMAP stands for Fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols. Foods high in FODMAPs can cause symptoms of food intolerance, affecting the gastro intestinal system and this can be mistaken for a true IgE food allergy.

Chicken does not contain salicylates as they are associated with plants. This makes lean meats a good food to eat if you suffer from symptoms of sensitivity to salicylates.

You can read more about Food Intolerances on the dedicated Food Intolerance Page.

Associated Syndromes

An allergy to poultry can sometimes be associated with an allergy to egg, this is called Bird-Egg Syndrome. In these cases sensitivity to egg is to the proteins in egg yolk, alpha livetin (gal d 5), which is found in both chickens and eggs.

Cross Reactivity

IgE allergy to egg is usually from the egg white (proteins gal d 1 to 4), so whilst people who are allergic to chickens can become intolerant or allergic to egg, it doesn’t usually work the other way around due to the different proteins involved.

Beef and pork are other foods containing serum albumin proteins.

Other foods containing aldolase and enolase proteins include chicken, cod, catfish, salmon and tuna.

These food lists are not exhaustive, the most up to date information is on the Cross Reactivity Tool.



Allergen Encyclopedia - Chicken

Do you have a chicken allergy?

ACAAI - Meat Allergy

NY-ASC - Chicken Allergy

WHO Allergen Nomenclature - Chicken

Healthline -= FODMAP Foods

Articles and Journals

Immunoglobulin E-Mediated Food Sensitization in a Moroccan Pediatric Population with Celiac Disease, 2024

Immune modulation by rural exposures and allergy protection, 2024

Antigen presentation induced variation in ovalbumin sensitization between chicken and duck species, 2023

Occupational Bioaerosol Exposures Associated with Poultry Farming, 2023

A case of acute Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES) to fish, turkey and duck, 2022

Poultry Meat allergy: a Review of Allergens and Clinical Phenotypes, 2022

Gal d 7—a major allergen in primary chicken meat allergy, 2020

Actin as a Possible Cross-Reactive Allergen Between Fish and Poultry, 2019

Meat allergy and allergens, 2018

Molecular and Extract-Based Diagnostics in Meat Allergy, 2017

Update on the bird-egg syndrome and genuine poultry meat allergy, 2016

Cross-reactivity to fish and chicken meat – a new clinical syndrome, 2016

Chicken Meat Anaphylaxis in a Child with No Allergies to Eggs or Feathers, 2014

Severe Allergy to Chicken Meat, 2006

Bird-egg Syndrome in Children, 2003

Chicken Serum Albumin (Gal D 5*) Is a Partially Heat-Labile Inhalant and Food Allergen Implicated in the Bird-Egg Syndrome, 2001

Identification of Alpha Livetin as a Cross Reacting Allergen in a Bird-Egg Syndrome, 1994

Egg Protein Sensitization in Patients With Bird Feather Allergy, 1991

Let me know if you found any of these interesting or useful. If you spot an article or research that you think is interesting you can message me or tag me on Facebook or Twitter - links at the bottom of the page.

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