My Child Is Allergic To Milk And Eggs, And Tests Were Positive To Beef, Pork And Chicken. Must I Avoid All These Foods?

Dr. Wood answers the question: 'Confusion About Milk, Egg Allergy?'

— -- Question: My child is allergic to milk and eggs, and tests were positive to beef, pork, chicken, and turkey. Do I need to avoid all of these foods?

Answer: Well, this is another source of great confusion in a lot of families with food allergy. And one of the things that everyone should understand is that testing for food allergy is a very inaccurate science.

And that what we would call ''false-positive test,'' where you get a positive skin or blood test to a food allergy to a food that you don't react to when you eat it, are quite common. And one of the reasons these false-positive tests occur is because when you're allergic to one food, you may test falsely positive to a related food. So it turns out that 90 percent of people with milk allergy will test positive to beef, but only ten percent are truly allergic to beef. And, similarly, 90 percent of patients with egg allergy will test positive to chicken or turkey, but only about five percent are truly allergic to those foods.

So the odds are that those positive tests to chicken, beef and turkey in your child are in this false-positive category, and that those foods would not need to be avoided. So this is something you should discuss in detail with your child's allergist.

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