Meat Allergy | Allergy

Meat Allergies

by Guest Writer

By Karen Blue
Meat Allergies in general, are fairly uncommon. However reactions can range from anaphylactic to digestive issues.

Avoiding certain meats may be more complicated if you are extremely sensitive, for instance, even certified vegan products can be made on the same line as meat and milk products. People who avoid meat, for religious reasons, often have certification measures that are more restrictive.

For Jews not eating pork is the most observed kosher practice. Muslims consider eating products derived from pork violation of their dietary laws as well. Muslims mark products that comply with their dietary laws as Halaal meaning “lawful” or “permissible”. The foods that meet Jewish dietary laws have Kosher labeling. Both are “pork free” with almost no cross contamination issues with pork.

allergy to meat

Jewish people who observe dietary laws do not mix milk and meat. If you are also allergic to milk, be aware that in Jewish law, a food product may be considered pareve, if it contains a very small amount of milk. Food marked parve could potentially have enough milk protein in it to cause a reaction in a milk-allergic person.

Most halaal gelatin is made from beef not pork so it can not be considered vegetarian.
Hidden Pork usually in the form of gelatin includes marshmallows, candies, ice cream, jello, vaccines. There are vegan and Halaal variations of marshmallows, jello and other foods. Making Vegan marshmallow or gelatin is difficult to make, and also hard to find.

Karen Blue runs the avoiding milk protein website.
(Visited 92,966 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Comment

{ 82 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Guest August 3, 2009 at 22:34

meat allergies

I have had issues w dairy sense birth but when i hit about 11 i couldent eat meat with out bloating, vomiting, or diahhrea or constipation that lasted days. idk what to do when i told the doctors they sent me to get an upper GI found nothing so they said simply dont eat what makes you sick. But i was hopeing someone had a diagnosis for this cuz iam sick of people thinkin iam just some crazy veg head. i really dident have a choice wether or not to eat meat. please help


2 admin August 4, 2009 at 09:03

Take care of yourself, no one else will

I hear what you’re saying. Cutting out meat from your diet makes you look different and others are giving you a hard time for it.

Here’s the thing: they are the ones with a problem.

How many people do you know who are over-weight, lack energy, and have an abundance of flatulence?

How many people do you know who are half out of it and have the memory of a goldfish?

Eating properly, and avoiding the foods that make you sick are the keys to good health.

Let others laugh. You’ll out-live them.


3 Bryan June 25, 2009 at 23:25

Vegetarian with severe reaction to meat contamination

My S.o. stopped eating meat at age nine. She only ate kosher ( non rennet ) cheeses. She now gets severe stomache pain and nausea after any exposure to meat protein. Even the small amount of grease from cross contamination is sufficient for 2 days of pain including some vomitin. She always ate eggs and vegetarian type cheeses. At this point, we have to limit food to that we prepare at home. We only eat cheeses from dairies that don’t use rennet. We can’t risk going out except to a 100% vegetarian restaurant. We know of only 3 in 50 miles. She became “allergic” by cutting off all meat many years ago. I don’t think there are any good solutions but maybe now there are allergy treatments? If anyone has done this to at least minimize the risks it would be good to hear.


4 Karen June 25, 2009 at 03:38

Pork allergy/intolerance

I have not eaten pork for around twenty years (maybe longer?), until last night. Not because I don’t like the taste, but it used to make me sick and it still does! Because I hadn’t eaten pork for so long, I thought maybe I had imagined or over emphasised my symptoms so decided a couple of pieces of roast pork loin, along with some of the crackling wouldn’t do any harm. I woke in the middle of the night with severe nausea, fast beating heart and now diarrhoea. Eggs also upset my digestive system. Funnily and perhaps significantly, my grandmother could eat neither eggs or pork and my son doesn’t eat eggs. Is it a protein intolerance rather than an allergy to the meat?


5 Guest June 22, 2009 at 19:53

Beef and Pork Allergy

Just for the record, I have the exact same reactions as many have documented. Nichole, what you described is exactly what I have. Upon eating beef:

0-3 hours – no symptoms at all.
4-5 hours – indigestion sets in, feels like the food does not ‘go down’.
6-7 hours – hives and diarrhea set in, usually starting around my waist and shoulders. Sometimes my palms itch. I immediately take 1 benedryl and drink two glasses of water to help flush allergens out. The trick is that as soon as you notice that first hive – and you will know – take a benedryl IMMEDIATELY. If you wait, the hives will grow far worse. Sometimes I get the shakes and anxiety.

8 hours – Hives usually slow down, because of the benedryl. If hives continue to grow, I will take a second Benedryl.
10 hours on – usually I am ‘cleaned out’ and tired. Hives usually go down.

Next day, I am usually cleared of hives, but I will take a claritin for the next few days to help ensure that they do not re-occur. So far, this has worked well.

Other notes: Beef allergies are not always indicated by a skin test – i had no reaction. Insist on an immunoglobulin (blood) test.

I am now developing signs that I am getting allergic to pork.


6 Guest August 10, 2009 at 14:57

delayed reaction – thanks for the detail

Thanks for the timeline it is so similar to me. For me it seems to be lamb and beef.

Reaction always delayed. And I don’t always react. Oddly it seems like it only happens if I eat red meat later in the day, and the reaction is ALWAYS late at night or early hrs of the morning.

I don’t eat much red meat normally either so its been very hard to pin down the cause and I’ve gone through everything else before concluding it is beef and lamb.

It started out of the blue 3yrs ago. ER 3 times due to systemic hives, swelling around mouth and tongue, sometimes cramps or what may be spasms in the gi tract that feel like indegestion or a lump / pressure in the chest.

At worst vomiting and dioriah.

Like previous poster, I’m learning to manage is with benedryl (25 or 50), pepcid (fomatedine 20 or 40) and loratadine (claritin 24hr) on symptom onset. Takes a few hrs to reverse the process, but works. And about $2000 cheaper than the ER!


7 RH September 21, 2009 at 15:17

My allergy symptoms are

My allergy symptoms are identical to yours. I started breaking out about 6 years ago and had a skin test done by an allergists. He gave me a bunch of possible causes so I started keeping a detailed journal with contacts that I encountered around the allergic reactions. After a while, the only common contact was beef. I stopped eating beef about two years ago and haven’t had the reaction since. ( I would love a big ol’ steak) However, a lot of my friends asked me to try preservative and additive free beef, thinking my reaction is not necessarily beef but maybe the preservatives with it. Has anyone with this allergy tried any preservative free beef and had success? By the way, when I feel the symptoms of my beef allergy starting, I immediately take 50mg of benadryl to stem the onset and stop the reactions. I hate taking it because it makes me lethargic but it works. If anyone has anything to offer on other possible remedies I would love to know them.


8 Shannon December 3, 2009 at 05:34

Meat and ticks?

Hey, I think everything I’ve read here is really interesting and puts a lot in perspective. A few months ago, for the first time in my life, I had an anaphylactic reaction. I had gone to a Chinese restaurant, and immediately gone over to the laundromat with a few members of my family. Sitting there, I suddenly realized that I had scratched myself bleeding (I was reading and kinda in the zone.) It had been over an hour since I’d eaten, and the detergents we used were the same ones we’ve always used. Right before the incident an ant had bitten me, so when I got to the hospital I had just figured that it was probably just an allergy to ants. Two days later, I was bitten by an ant again and nothing happened, so I was forced to re-evaluate the situation. I was getting very sick at this time, sleepy, pale, coughing, and almost anemic looking, but my doctor suggested that it was emotional. Things just kept getting worse and then suddenly, everytime I’d eat I’d notice I’d feel incredibly nauseous and immediately get sick.

I couldn’t figure out for the life of me what was going on. My lip look busted and they were itchy all the time… and I was just miserable. I am a HUGE meat eater, and literally have it with every meal. One day I sat down and ate something with no meat in it or meat by-product, and for the first time in weeks I didn’t get sick. I tested this and tested this only to discover that I was having reactions to meat. I did a little bit of looking around.. and just happened to stumble across a website about meat allergies that stated:

There is a link between people who get bitten by ticks and meat allergies. For some reason, a tick bite can set off a meat allergy. They have no idea why, they just know that it does in some people. It used to be considered rare, but it’s starting to show up a lot more. The study also stated that for these people, the allergy is not typical of food allergies. Instead of an immediate reaction, it could be several hours before they notice the first sign of a reaction. In these cases, it tends to cause an allergy to beef, pork, and lamb. I would try typing in “red meat allergy tick bite” into google and seeing if you can find it for yourself… It was cited a bunch of places. I found this particularly interesting because the allergy seemed to develop after my trip to New England where I was bitten by a tick in New Jersey.


9 admin December 4, 2009 at 10:03

Thanks for your meat allergy story

Hi Shannon,

Thanks for your meat allergy story.

Yes, I’ve heard about the connection between tick-bites and meat allergy. There is an article about it on this website (see link, this paragraph).

I think you need to find a new doctor. True, our emotional state plays a big part in our health, but not the way old-school doctors seem to think. They just blame symptoms in women they don’t understand on emotions. What a cop-out!


10 Steve J December 20, 2009 at 23:55

I have similiar case

I have similiar case
All my symptoms occur only after eatung a steak in a restaurant. Not hamburger, not grocery store steak, only restaurant steak.
6 hrs after dinner: I wake up with itchy palms, soles.
Next hour I develop bad hives, very itchy around my torso.
Then diarhea.
Next hour symptoms subside completely.
Two hours, thats it. Diarhea cures it.
Whats weird is that it is only restaurant steak. Started early 2009, never had a problem before then. Its happened about six times before I realized what was causing it. Last time I came close to calling an ambulence.


11 Nichole June 6, 2009 at 10:04

Allergic to all mammal meat

I must say I am happy to find that many other people have the same allergies that I do. I found out when I was 18 that I was allergic to beef. It started out as an upset stomach, grew into getting hives, and by now if I have any sort of contact/cross contamination I have to get to the hospital because my life is in serious danger. So much so that I now carry an epi-pen with me. Last year I developed an allergy to pork (two years after the beef). While the reaction is not as bad as beef (not yet, anyway), it’s enough to be concerned about. I always think the reaction might be the end of me. It is pretty tricky too, because the reaction is not instant. It occurs 2-5 hours after consuming whatever product may be tainted. That is why it was sooo hard for me to figure out what was causing this reaction in the first place.

After being tested, I was told that I am allergic to a protein found in the meat and that I should not eat any sort of mammal meat as well, because if I’m not already allergic to it, I will be in the future. Sure enough, I now can’t eat venison. The only thing I can be grateful for is that it seems I have no reaction what-so-ever to milk, cheese, or any other dairy products. I feel very fortunate about that after reading some of these posts.

I just wonder while all of the sudden these allergies pop up? I grew up eating meat and never had a problem until three years ago.


12 Guest May 26, 2009 at 15:02

All my Life

I’ve know that I’ve been allergic to pork since I was 3. My Mom had to test me to see what foods I was allergic to! I basically break out with excema. So many people have told me that there is no such thing as pork allergies; but I trust my Mom and because of her, have avoided it all my life. Now that I’m older, I can eat it; but not in excess. I still do not care for most types of pork.


13 Guest May 6, 2009 at 18:20

I’ve read several of the

I’ve read several of the comments posted. And I don’t feel so bad anymore. To know that there are more people with the same allergies as I have to beef and pork. I’ve always heard people being allergic to milk and peanuts. But I have 4 allergies which are beef, pork, eggs, and peanuts. Sometimes I’m so down and out because I truly loved eating beef and pork. My doctor detected it right away. So now days all I eat is Chicken, Turkey and Seafood. Which my doctor says is more healthier anyway. It has been quite hard trying to digest some of the turkey products they have on the market. But I am managing. I also was diagnosed a long time ago to milk but it seems as though I can tolerate now with just problems of gas. I have had 1 attack with my heart and just 1 throat closing incident. Because I just can’t bear to have sandwiches without mayonnaise which contain eggs.


14 Guest April 20, 2009 at 14:56

meat allergy

i have been allergic to pork, lamb and beef all my life – if first got ill eating it when weaning .. i spent my early years with tests and exclusion diets, the dr. told my mum it could not possibly be caused by meat!! my mum excluded meat and i got better.. i have not eaten meat since i was 2. there are still alot of drs who dont believe you when you say you are allergic to meat. i used to get very sleepy after eating meat and my temp would rise before throwing up voilently about 8 hours later- once i had been sick i was back to normal – all the time i was being fed meat i was aneamic and had low levels of B12 once i stoped the deficiency resolved. 4 years ago when i went for surgery i was told the allergy need not be noted as it was unimportant!! i tried to explain but the surgeon and aneathistist but they were not listening …. they gave me gelifusin in theater and i had anaphalaxis – then they had to believe me!!


15 Guest April 12, 2009 at 03:10

Pork allergy or intolerance?

You can be allergic to pork and meats (my dog is allergic to chicken!), but I don’t think I am. Just lately I have had diarrhea and sometimes severe stomach cramps whenever I eat pork. This is completely different from the reaction I get from my food allergies (either an itchy throat and ears and sneezing, OR I turn bright red all over, itch at pressure points, and get hives), so I am not sure it is a true allergy. My food allergies include flaxseed, almonds, plantains, avocados, and maybe cucumbers. I am also fructose intolerant which is not an allergy because it is not a protein reaction, it is a blood sugar issue. Does anyone here know anything about pork intolerance that is NOT an allergy, and what could cause it? I also wonder about the sodium phospates that have been added to the pork.


16 Guest May 25, 2009 at 00:15

Pork intolerance

I don’t know if this would qualify as a pork intolerance or an allergy but… I am allergic to the bone marrow in pork, not the actual meat (or protein in the meat). I can eat bacon and sandwich ham but not pork chops, ribs, hot dogs, or any pork meat cooked close to the bone. Someone once explained to me that this sounds like a bone marrow allergy, which makes a lot of sense. The bone marrow actually cooks into the meat when pork is cooked on the bone. When I eat pork meat cooked close to the bone I vomit, get chills, and feel generally ill for a few hours. These symptoms usually occur about four hours after I consume the meat.


17 Guest July 14, 2009 at 19:19

That is how it started for

That is how it started for me..I used to be just intolerant to pork. Diarehha and stomach cramps every time I ate it. Now I can’t eat it at all.Myface gets red andl ips swell up,I can’t breath,I get weak and disoriented. Not a fun experience. I need an epipen now. If I were u I would not chance it.


18 boleyngirl March 16, 2009 at 13:03

im allergic to pork aswell

I am allergic to pork aswell, I actually have never become swollen or inflamed, but I get a killer migraine from any pork substance, so I stay clear away from pork. A lot of people Ive told say “you cant be allergic to pork”, but you really can.


19 Gabriel February 28, 2009 at 04:17

Pork makes me sick

For those of u wndering how to find out if ur allergic to pork, just make an appt with a e.n.t. They should be able to do allergy testing to determin what ur allergies r. After my first pregnancy, I was getting sick all the time with flu like stuff and sinusitis, but no dr could tell me why. Finally, after over 5 yes of suffering, I was sent to my e.n.t. and he tested me for every allergy under the sun. The result? Pork and shellfish. No outdoor allergies, no animal, no dust… Just pork and shellfish. The dr explained to me that it could be the chemicals contained in the pork, but non the less, it’s making me sick. I cut out all pork and shellfish and have not gotten sick and it’s been almost two yrs. Make sure u remember that if ur allergic to pork, ur also allergic to pork derivitives, such as gelatin! Hope this helps!!!


20 ColoMom February 3, 2009 at 19:31


I just happened across this while doing an internet search for pork allergies. I have been dealing with this allergy for 10 years now. It started when I was pregnant with my youngest. Every time I eat pork, pork product or anything that has touched pork within 30 minutes I am miserable. It is like having an extremely bad case of the flu – chills, stomach cramps and lots of time in the restroom. It usually take 2 days before I am back to normal. I do not have a problem with any other meats – beef, venision, etc just the pork.

Dining out has become almost impossible. There are a few places near us that we frequent and they are kind enough to make considerations but there is always the chance of getting sick.

I am currently looking for a doctor in my area that will look at this as an allergy and not “acid reflux” as many of the doctors already have. If anyone knows of a good allergy specialist in the Denver/Aurora area I am open to suggestions and would greatly appreciate them.

Thank you! Denyse
[Please reply by $Contact-Form$ -ed]


21 mary April 9, 2009 at 21:32

I agree with you –I have

I agree with you –I have the same symptoms as you —I really notice on ham some I can eat some not -my hubby is a retired meatcutter -we are contacting meat companies to find what chemicals they use -maybe reaction to that–I never chance eating any other pork product –ham makes me sick enough.. I live in Kansas city mo area so don’t have any idea on the dr. –Good luck


22 AMAZED February 5, 2010 at 23:01



We also live in K.C. Mo. My husband has been experiencing meat allergy symptoms that started about two years ago. It started with Beef, then Pork, then Lamb. I kept changing meats and usually the first time he ate something other than Beef when he first showed symptoms, it would not bother him. If he went back for seconds, then it was like overload and hives would start hours later. They are severe. His Dr. sent him to an allergist and he was tested for meat allergy………nothing indicated that he had an allergy. His Dr. has never given him an epi pen, although I am sure he could use one or at least an emergency supply of prednisone…..Last time his reaction was the worst… He went back to his Dr. and the Dr. did some blood work and said he was going to make an appt at the allergy and immunology Dept of K.U. Med. He said it might take a while. Well, someone called from K.U. Med and said an appointment had been set for my husband for THE END OF AUGUST, 2010, OVER SEVEN MONTHS IN THE FUTURE. THIS HAPPENED SEVERAL WEEKS AGO, IN MID JANUARY. CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS??? He could go into anaphalactic shock in the meantime. Just call me “AMAZED.”

As an afterthought, I do wonder though about the mention in this discussion of some thyroid treatments containing bovine products. Also how iron supplements also contain beef…….My husband takes a thyroid medication and B-12 was prescribed for an anemic problem some time back. I wonder if these are related? Chemicals do not seem to be the problem. I have purchased chemical and hormone free meat and same reaction occurs.


23 Guest May 12, 2009 at 22:08

I am curious to find out if

I am curious to find out if the allergy to pork has anything to do with a hormone imbalance….I used to eat beef (the rarer the better!!) until shortly after my 3rd son was born. I ended up in the hospital dehydrated 6 times before I realized that I had eaten beef for dinner the same evening each time I ended up in the ER. It has been 15 years since I have eaten beef (everything that I eat needs to be kept separate from any beef products, so my family went without for a long time…). Doctors are useless, although I haven’t been to an allergy specialist…..yet.


24 Guest February 2, 2009 at 21:49

Wool allergy


Evidently my allergy is pretty rare. I am EXTREMELY allergic to wool, cashmere, angora, etc. If anyone is wearingg any of these within about 5 feet of me, I know it. My throat gets scratchy, my glands swell, my eyes will water. God forbid, if I barely touch it and then touch my face or some other skin, it burns and itches. I can start to have respritory distress and cough and have trouble breathing if exposed for any period of time. This started when I turned 30 years old??? I received an angora sweater for my birthday. I thought a cat had crawled into my throat. It can feel like I have hairs in my throat??? My inner ears will burn and feel inflamed. Have you any idea how many people wear wool in the Oregon winter? I need to find some kind of relief. Many of my co-workers wear wool. They try to stay away from me but if it’s an especially offending material, it doesn’t help. If anyone has any advice, please advise. My insurance is soooo limited I really can’t afford to see the doctor about this………………yet.

Thank you!


25 admin February 2, 2009 at 22:04


I guess you’ve probably considered moving to somewhere much warmer where people don’t wear wool?

Sometimes allergies go away if you can eliminate all exposure to the offending substance for a while (could take months, or years, or it might not happen at all).


26 Guest February 13, 2009 at 13:36


Are you aware of immunotherapy? I am doing it for allergy to wasp stings. It has a high rate of success but takes a very long time. It might be worth it for you considering where you live and the severity of your reaction.


27 Guest December 19, 2009 at 09:53

wool allergy

Hello…I am severely allergic to wool too. I am a teacher and some of my students invited me to go to a 4-H competition where they showed and sheered their sheep. I went…sat in the bleachers…and never touched the sheep. While there, my nose and eyes began to water…I didn’t think much about it. I went home and later that night the symptoms got worse…coughing, eyes still watering and nose running…almost like the flu but with no fever. I remember thinking that I felt like “a truck had run over me.” I went to bed and sleep. When I woke up the next morning my eyes were swollen shut…I could barely open them…flu symptoms were still there…I layed around with cold compresses on my eyes…after about three days, I was back to normal. I later went to an allergy doctor… I am allergic to wool/sheep, pork, beek, chicken (mild food allergies), milk, dust, trees, grasses, and furry animals…especially horses (severe)….Tide detergent, Irish Spring soap, etc…So I feel your pain…I have runny nose and sneezing alot…Medicine helps some but not much…


28 Not Alone January 30, 2009 at 02:06

I am very interested to find

I am very interested to find so many others with the beef and pork allergy. I just started to research this on the internet because I am very allergic to beef, pork and other 4-legged meats.

I grew up eating all meats, including organs and feet. In my late 20’s after doing a meat fast for 40 days, I began to have the severe symptoms and could not eat it again. I had the ezcema prior to the fast.
I can experience severe intestional distress within 10 minutes to 2 hours, depending on the accidental source and amount. Beef seems to produce the most dramatic symptoms. I will have cold sweats, a metallic taste in the back of my throat, and diarrhea erruptions that cannot be controlled. I do eat some small amounts of cow milk products normally. I have varying degrees of intestional reactions to milk products, depending on the country I am visiting. I have the skin rashes and erruptions that can follow the events after about 1 week. The pimples that occur are deeper under the skin and are extremely sore. They can appear in odd places like inside my ears, scalp and private parts. It takes about 1 week for them to settle down and they never “come to a head.”

I have to be very careful about vitamin supplements like iron that can be derrived from beef or have a meat base. Vegetable iron supplements are available.


29 Keith January 18, 2009 at 23:34

Yes, beef, pork, and now venison

Rylee, I am definitely allergic to beef and pork. My reactions to them differ slightly but have many common symptoms. I first identified the allergy only about two years ago, though I’d been reacting for the last ten years or so, and it had been increasing in severity. Beef causes anaphylaxis – BP drops, heart races, airway closes up, disorientation, and black out – it was getting scary, and I finally went to an allergist (after being given the runaround by my family doc, who thought it was anxiety attacks).

I had always suspected pork as well, but I’m now positive it is both. The problem is that I do not react “every” time I eat it. It seems to be linked to the amount I eat, and also possibly to how well cooked it is. With the pork, it is mainly just skin rash, itching, etc. (I now have permanent “freckles” all over that are the marks from these recurrent hives). The hives have occurred with beef as well. I have also had problems in the past with some anti-biotics, but I don’t know if this is related. Now, the most recent confirmation was actually just last night, when a friend prepared delicious venison steak for my wife and I (partially as a test to see if I could tolerate it). I have eaten venison in the past, but only in stew. This time, BAM. I noticed my sinuses closing up, and my head feeling “tight”, and then the itching and welts. If I catch this early, and pop a few benedryl, I can usually deal okay with it. My symptoms don’t usually start for several hours after eating the meat. Once or twice it has been within an hour. On one occasion, the episode also created intestinal distress, but usually, it does not.

My question is – do they know what the actual compenent is in the meat that causes the allergy? – since I’m alergic to deer, I no longer believe that it’s a man-made additive in the feed.



30 Jessica October 22, 2009 at 12:47

Meat allergies

My husband was told by an allergist, actually yesterday, that there is not anything that links the different meats together. His allergy is very similar to yours. His started, actually, with venison, then onto beef, pork, and even shell fish.
Please keep us posted if you find out any information, and we will do the same for you! thanks!



31 Guest October 29, 2009 at 22:30

See this link, which

See this link, which explains A LOT!


[above link now broken, but the following may be the same article: -ed]


32 Robbie December 15, 2009 at 13:40

Venison Allergy

Hi Jess, I’ve eaten venison 4 times in the last month and have had huge stomach pains for 24 hours afterwards. Is that similar to your husband’s reaction? Did his allergist actually give him an allergy test that showed a positive allergic reaction to venison? My stomach is actually hurting at this very moment from venison in our spaghetti last night. And we have 50 more pounds in the freezer!


33 Colleen July 19, 2011 at 20:14

Did you ever find out whether or not you are allergic to Venison? I have no problems with any other meat but as soon as I eat Venison, I get instant stomach cramps. Please let me know!!


34 Emma December 29, 2009 at 17:59

Am ‘Lergic to Pork Fat

I just wanted to comment on something that I’ve done some research on.

I noticed after dating a Jew and a Muslim that I can no longer tolerate pork fat in my diet. I’ve always figured it to be like trying to go from vegetarian to eating meat again – your body just no longer has the digestive juices to take care of it.

Anyways, I also dated a hunter. I know that elk is in no way related shape or form to pigs. He knew of my allergy and asked his butcher about it since I had a nasty reaction.

It turns out that since deer/venison, elk, and a lot of veal are so lean of a meat, most butchers cut it with pork fat in the grinding process.

You should note that allergic reactions (such as your hives) are in response to proteins in whatever material. I suggest getting a full allergy panel done by a specialist to find out.


35 admin December 29, 2009 at 22:26

Pork fat in venison and elk

Thanks for that info about pork fat mixed in with deer/venison, elk and other lean meat.

Who would have known?

Very useful info for many people who read this page.


36 Rylee January 7, 2009 at 12:57

Allergic To Beef and Pork

The only things I’m Allergic to are beef and pork, venison, lamb… namely any and all red meat. (Yes, I am aware that pork technically isn’t a red meat, but I still get sick.) When I eat these meats I break out in a cold sweat, get sore/achy, vomit, and find difficulty breathing. No, I haven’t gone to a speciallist for this because once I eliminated meats (with the exception of poultry and sea food) from my diet, I was perfectly fine.

My question is whether anyone else is allergic to most red meats. I’m seeing lots of pork, but none of the rest?


37 Guest August 16, 2009 at 21:35

Your and my allergies are identical

Mine began w/ beef 5 years ago (I’m 48) and only recently pork and lamb. It affects every single part of my body, beginning w/ itching at the hairline at the back of my neck and then my entire body itches as if insects are racing around under my skin. Sinuses go mad, I wheez, and have headache, cramps, and even menstruation when it’s nowhere near my time! It is very alarming. The day after I feel like I was hit by a truck so it must really take a lot out of my body, as I am very healthy in every other way. My last episode was 6 months ago, but I don’t eat out much! Many have suggested it’s hormones or chemicals, but no, I’ve even tried organic and the chicken I eat is not organic so that’s loaded w/ the same garbage as the 4-leggeds. My only other allergy is hair dye–it gives me horrible itching then 2nd degree burns on my scalp.


38 Margo October 21, 2009 at 14:54

Meat allergies

I am 43. I, too, was diagnosed with allergy to beef 5 years ago. I started reacting the same way, intense itching at the base of my skull, my fingers and vaginal area. A rash would spread all over my body from head to toe and even welt up into hives occasionally. My eardrums swell. I’ve had the labor-like abdominal cramping that led to breakthrough vaginal bleeding. With my last two reactions to pork and venison, I have had hives develop around my mouth and mild respiratory distress, a feeling similar to a lump in my throat and some difficulty swallowing. I had to use my epi-pen for the first time last night and went to the ER where they gave me IV Tagamet and steroids. Last night was the first reaction I’ve had to venison so it has not been confirmed, but will be making an appointment with my allergist to have it checked out.


39 Guest September 17, 2009 at 22:17


I have been diagnosed with a meat (any meat) and fat allergy. Any meat or fat touches my lips and I have a horid 24 hours of diarhea and cramping. I live in a family of meat eaters and it is very hard to plan menues when I have to cook and clean up two different sets of dishes. The doctors just say to deal with it. You gotta love doctors,


40 admin September 22, 2009 at 00:10

Hard reality

I feel your pain!

The trouble is that the only way to deal with this sort of allergy is to stop eating the offending food.

With luck, your family will be willing to eat the same food as you at least for some meals.

Its no fun. Unfortunately you have a choice between a hassle cooking and cleaning up or the symptoms.

Hope this becomes easier over time.

Drop a few lines if you find some good ways of dealing with this.


41 Robin September 29, 2009 at 14:42

meat allergies

I am allergic to beef. I break out in hives and have had this and seveal other foods since I got Graves Disease. I even broke out in hives when I took some suppliments that had bovine thyrode extract in them. I had the skin injection test at an allergly specialist in Raleigh NC and that’s when I found out all the things that were causing me so many problems. I’m not allergic to any other meats and eat venison instead of beef when ever I can. I have tried the free range organic beef and still broke out so blew my chemical theroy.


42 Jessica October 22, 2009 at 12:36

Meat Allergy

Can you please tell me the name of your specialist? We also live in Raleigh, NC, and my husband is allergic to all meat and shellfish other than turkey and chicken. He is seeing an allergist currently, but she has never seen such a thing. It may be beneficial for him to see someone that has experience in this area. thanks!


43 Sienna October 16, 2009 at 08:06

Allergic the red meat too.

It was on a check up by my gyno that I was told that I may have an allergy to something. I was moderately depressed with digestive problems, and chronic sore throats, chronic vaginal infections (vaginosis) and dry dry skin. but I have always had these symptoms since I was a teenager and it got worse as I grew older. My symptoms were not pain orientated, it was the small moments of discomfort that was the reason why I overlooked it. Plus, I did not know depression could be cause from an allergy or sensitivity. Aparantly, my doctor happened to have a child who is allergic to red meat. She indicated that her daughter’s symptoms left the week she threw out all meat from her refrig. She can tolerate boned fish. i was shocked and tearful. Somehow, everything made so much sense. That explained everything. I am symptom free and I have not felt depressed since. I really really think someone should seriously consider how much of our poor health is caused by the consumption of red meat. P.S. For the record, I love the taste of red meat and I crave it sometimes. So I am not some pro veggie person…I am an ex meat eater that had to quit to save the quality of my life.


44 Jessica October 22, 2009 at 12:40

Meat Allergy

Very interesting. The more I read, the more I am finding more people with similar symptoms to my husband. His meat allergy began about a year ago. Along with his allergies came temperment changes. He displays many signs of depression. I would be interested in speaking with your doctor about this. I know my husband can not see a gyno, however, it would be great to gain some insight! Please let me know who to contact! thanks!


45 Jessica October 22, 2009 at 12:32

Meat Allergies

My husband, in the past year has become allergic to all meats and shell fish other than chicken and turkey. He breaks out in terrible hives that swell to the point of bruising. He has recently seen a doctor and an allergist, neither of which have answers for him. They both think that it is not possible for him to be allergic to all of those things, and that there must be some other answer as to why he has such adverse reactions. The allergist is currently running blood work and doing research….my husband, if you will, is her “guinea pig” at this point.
This is a very frustrating allergy/reaction. Any information would be greatly appreciated!!


46 Guest February 11, 2010 at 17:13

I had some tenderlion steak

I had some tenderlion steak last night. I ended up not being able to swallow anything solid or liquid. I through up everything I ate. The next day my heart still aches. I did read that certain foods can cause an allergic reaction and cause the tissue to swell closing the passage way and putting pressure on the heart valves. I have to follow this more before I go to a doctor.


47 Paul February 23, 2010 at 17:47

Red meat

Haven’t been to an allergist yet, but after 8-9 reactions now and having narrowed it down to only red meat I am certain that this is the problem. My stomach hurts after I eat it, usually a really QUICK stomach pain, maybe 1 minute to 20 minutes if a large portion. Then once the pain fades away I feel my body start to tingle all over. ANYWHERE on my body that I touch or move even begins to break out in welps. The breakouts have lasted anywhere from a few hours, on into 24 hours sometimes. Had to miss work once because my face was so swolen from touching my pillow and bed all night.

I am fully confident it is meat and even though I LOVE eating steak and burgers and any kind of red meat, this irritation is almost intollerable and I will not put myself through it, even for a nice 21oz ribeye.

It only started at the age of 23 too, I have eaten meat all my life up until now. I am 24 and don’t know if I will ever be able to eat beef again.

Side note, if I eat small portions, like one taco at taco bell, I will get usually a rumble in the stomach then some random itches all over my body, but not enough to make myself swell up like when I eat a larger portion. It is really stupid and I hate it!!!


48 Guest March 23, 2010 at 03:37

We have the same problem

I recently discovered that i am allergic to red meat and some pork. I went through alot of tests and surgeries b/c the doctors didn’t know what was wrong with me. I went a whole year of them not knowing. I was never allergic before. I’m only 21. One day it was suggested that i stop eating meat so i said sure why not give that a try and sure enough it was red meat. It does seem very rare b/c when telling people about it they find it hard to believe. I just wish there was some type of medicine for it. To top it all off shortly after i stopped eating red meat and some pork i found i was also lactose intolerant which i again never was until recently. it sucks b/c it is hard when you wanna go out to eat but u have to pick and choose and read really carefully to make sure u don’t end up with a reaction. What i don’t get is how does this happen and why? why didn’t this happen before or why wasn’t i born like this.


49 Anonymous December 28, 2008 at 10:26

i am allergic to meat and

i am allergic to meat and only recently found out. i was diagnosed with lupus, fibromyalgia and other stuff due to symptoms- not actual data- anyway, i had muscle aches, mood swings severe digestive issues- overprduction of saliva, rahses, you name it i had it. i eventually stopped listening to medical science and went holistic and was given a food allergy test. i am allergic to meat (protien), eggs, b12 and sugar. once i cut most of this out my symptoms disappeared.
my point is you can be allergic to meat.


50 Anonymous December 28, 2008 at 10:23

you can absolutely be

you can absolutely be allergic to pork or any other meat for that matter. i am allergic to all land meat and eggs. its not the meat necessairly but the protein that is in it and how the body breaks the particular protein down. dont listen to people who tell you being allergic to anything is impossible, with the human body almost anything is possible. becareful with soups and other prodcuts that one would assume there is no meat in, i just ate vegetarian lentil soup and threw up for hours- it had chicken stock and other chicken stuff in it-


51 admin November 22, 2008 at 20:47

Pork Allergy – how to avoid pork

If you want to avoid all traces of pork, look for kosher or halal food.

Jews and Muslims have very strict dietary laws. Pork is on the no-go list.

Kosher and halal food is guaranteed to be completely free of any pork


52 Anonymous October 25, 2008 at 22:54


I am extremley allergic to pork! If it touches my tounge at all I am in danger.. By eating pork, my face, lips, all swell up .. So I do not eat pork any more at all.. I can not eat any kind or form of it..

Now I am having problems from cross-contaimnation now!! If something I eat like chicken came across a knife that has touched pork, or a grill that pork was cooked on or even a glove that prepared my turkey sandwich has touched some sort of pork..I break out in really bad hives/welts.. The welts itch but sore at the same time.. Sometimes on my arms they seem to grow.. I mark them with a ink pen and can useally tell when it grows.. It feels very warm to the touch,itchy,and sore all at the same time..

2Days ago I ate a grilled chicken on a salad.. I told the lady no bacon bits on my salad cause I am allergic to them.. Well thinking I am safe I ate this salad.. 10 Min after eating it my thumb felt itchy and red and swelling..I thought that was strange but never thought to much about it.. About a hour later I had hives all over me! Then my lower lip started swelling.. By friday I couldnt talk and missed work! No way im going to work like this!
This has been going on for years.. I have a note book I write reactions and dates down when they happen and what kind of reaction happens.. And what I ate or didnt eat..

My doctor thinks I’m nuts and say no one is allegic to pork.. I dont like this doctor..I think my doctor should believe in his patient.. Is there a doctor out there that knows the kind of pain I go though when I have this happen.. I carry a epin pen with me but never had to use it.. I’ve actually gone to the emergency room in the past .. But now I really have to watch what I eat.. And most of all the cross catmaination this is the worse part.. Its hard to eat out.. Because people dont care anymore.. And they dont think about others either..
I dont belive it is chemicals in my food either.. I have wrote down every reaction I have ever had realted to pork.. Since 2001!

Is there any help out there anywhere for us people allergic to pork???


53 SYNNY November 21, 2008 at 18:15

Allergic To Pork

I also believe that I may be allergic to pork I have the same exact symptoms.
I swell up, my welts get so big and sore all at the same time.
I feel like crawling out of my skin.
How long do your symptoms last
This is all new to me.
Its been about a little over a month since this all started
I also have to carry an epipen, and have yet to use it either.
In the past month I’ve been in the er 4 times because my face swelled up so bad.
Now I’m writing down everything I eat and my symptoms day for day its so frustrating.
I just don’t know what to do.
Anyone else out there w\ any suggestions
I feel so hopeless & out of control


54 Anonymous December 13, 2008 at 22:18

you guys need a new doctor!!

you guys need a new doctor!! i went to a doctor who is an allergy specialist to find the source of my mysterious rashes/sickness. He administered an allergy test and among other things, I found out that I was allergic to pork! so if your doctor is saying you “can’t” be allergic to pork, it sounds like he’s a quack who hasn’t done even a cursory amount of research and has no knowledge of allergies!! find someone else!!!


55 John G. December 10, 2008 at 09:07

Pork Allergy

I went to an allergy doctor in Franklin, Tennessee for the first time yesterday after having had numerous reactions over the years to what I believed was MSG and two times to something in Marzetti’s Low Fat Peppercorn Ranch dressing. He tested me for various food allergies and all were negative except for possibly barley. Then they gave me some new testing for meat allergies via injections. They said one was for beef, one for pork. He said I was allergic to “mammals” with a rating of 2.5+ out of 4 in severity. He said that he learned of the new testing/studies at a conference about six weeks ago and and has only been using the tests for about a month. Maybe now you can confirm what you probably already know. Hope this helps. Regards, John


56 Misti June 21, 2009 at 21:59


Just read your article – could you tell me the name of
the doctor in Franklin Tennessee?


57 tracy September 6, 2009 at 01:27

Franklin, TN doctor?

i would also like to know the name of the doctor u spoke of in Franklin! my son lived there- i would go ASAP!


58 Anonymous December 10, 2008 at 14:09

Pork Allergy

You are not crazy so you can go back and tell your doctor that! If you are not confident in your doctor, find a new one! You should be able to put your trust in him/her and they should LISTEN to you!

My son is allergic to pork. It took us almost 2 years and MANY tests to finally find this out. We had bloodwork done in the form of a RAST test. It came back with a level 1 pork allergy (which is mild). If he eats pork, the reaction usually occurs several hours later. Most of the time in the middle of the night. He wakes up in a croup attack. He went through 18 different attacks over a 2 year period before we found this out. Most every attack resulted in an emergency room visit for ephinephrine breathing treatments and steriods….

Hope this helps….Good Luck!


59 Rylee January 7, 2009 at 12:46

Dr. Stupid

That physician isn’t worth his salt! Pork and beef allergies, while rare, do exist. I’ve been allergic to beef and pork since age thirteen. Every time I eat it, I get a reaction that closely resembles the flu. Chills, fever, cramps… not fun.

There is a wealth of information on allergy sites for this particular allergy. Again, it isn’t as common as the nut allergy, but it does exist.


60 Ricky February 10, 2009 at 10:36

i’m allergic to pork and beef

i can’t eat pork or beef because my skin scrach and break out with red bums also if i’m around dogs and cats my eyes get red and scrach.


61 charlie February 27, 2009 at 21:27

pork allergy

hello, my wife and i have recently found out our 1 year old son has been diagnosed with a beef and pork allergy, along with his nut,wheat,egg,oats and barley allergies….we are both really scared and concerned for the future and hope he outgrows some of them. i have read your letter here and feel awful you go through that. any suggestions could help, thanks


62 Guest October 17, 2009 at 22:13

My son is allergic to a lot

My son is allergic to a lot of things too. He is allergic to wheat, egg, chicken, pork, fish, beef, soy, oats, nuts. We have been feeding him mostly rice based stuff. We found out from a lot of trying that he is not allergic to bacon, ham and hotdog. He is also not allergic to shellfish. We have been very successful at feeding him the gluten free breads and rice noodles, vermicelli, and salads. Lots of fruits and vegetables, too.


63 admin October 19, 2009 at 22:51

Glad you’re making headway

Glad you’re making headway with your son’s diet.

Be careful with hotdogs. They could have anything in them, including some of the things you list as his allergies.


64 Guest January 26, 2010 at 13:24

Bacon & Ham is pork

FYI – Bacon/Ham is pork – so if your son has allergies to pork he should not be eating bacon/ham.


65 bread June 8, 2010 at 11:55

bread i am to allergic to wheat eggs chicken pepper grapes. i was wonder you give him a bread with out egg an wheat i have a heard time findin one?


66 tom carrollo April 1, 2009 at 05:36


Your dr, is totally wrong I am allergic to pork beef lamb, Same reaction as you been to em 3 times had to use epi pen last time. My dad has the same condition.


67 Guest May 5, 2009 at 00:17

Pork allegy

I have a pork allergy too. It started in 2000. I got really lucky and had a really good doctor at the time that believe me. And really there isn’t to much you can do about cross contamination. In order to eat out all you can do is pick places that have no pork on the menu. There are a few out there. This does become boring. Sometimes telling the wait staff you have the allergy and that it can be deadly is sometimes enough to get them to be more careful. I don’t even bother trying to go to subway or any place like that. They don’t change gloves enough to risk it. I end up in the hospital at least 3 times a year with this allergy. I know mine isn’t chemicals because over the years i have eaten farm raised by a friend pork and still had the reaction. No chemicals in that. My doctors just sugest that I make all my meals at home. And if i choose to go out to take the epipen just in case.


68 Christy December 3, 2009 at 16:38

I just wanted to let you

I just wanted to let you know that my 7 yr old went for allergy testing 2 weeks ago and I got a phone call today telling me that he is allergic to pork and beef. So I don’t think that you are crazy. I had never heard of such an allergy until today and now I am trying to research it and find out everything that I can about it. I obviously have to take measures to make sure he no longer has it in his diet. I suggest that you find an allergy doctor that will test you for it and other things too.


69 Traci December 4, 2009 at 14:00

Allergic to Beef and Pork

I have not eaten any beef or pork products for over 2 years now due to 3 anafalactic reactions and a trip to the hospital. I also cannot eat veal, tried it, not pretty. I have initial severe stomach pain, then nausea, vomitting, severe hives all over and swelling of my throat.
So bizarre to happen at the age of 35. I’ve had many people tell me it may have somthing to do with the proteins found in meat & pork. Has anyone heard of this before?


70 anne January 7, 2010 at 17:52

allergic to red meat

wow! yes, i am similar. it happened to me later on in life. everytime i ate ‘any’ red meat: beef, lamb, pork & bacon etc, i would end up with severe stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever & slight breathing problems. the stomach pain was so intense that i often collapsed.
these initial symptoms would last between, say, 2 to 5 hours. afterwhich, it would calm down to cramps, fatigue & general feeling unwell for a day or two.

now i just avoid all red meat altogether. it is so sad for anyone to suffer this way. i really miss roast lamb!!!!!


71 Jodie May 13, 2010 at 15:46

My husband has developed severe allergies to red meat,pork,veal,lamp,etc-we have not yet been able to determine if he is allergice to venison,buffalo,elk,etc. from what we have been able to figure out is this all started a couple years ago from a tick bite!!! He has always been a woodsman, the allergies started very suddenly,we did some research and this is all we can find out so far. Up to this he had always been very healthy and loved food! Never has had a weight problem,cant eat meat now.

72 tony January 18, 2010 at 14:09

pork allergy

I think you are right, my wife found she was allergic when she was about your age and get very severe migraine from any contact at all, but she has found that wild boar which we find in france has no effect, so we have proved it is not pig products but just pig products which have been fed on additives or hormones, we are still searching for something which reverses the symptoms when some cross contamination occurs and the migraine starts


73 Guest December 15, 2009 at 15:18


My son has tested allergic to pork and has your same reactions. You can be allergic to pork and although it is rare, it happens. We avoid it at all costs


74 roma January 21, 2010 at 11:28


My goodness when I read this, it is totally identical to my situation,same symtoms everthing.I once went into anaphilatic shock.Its horrible.I been living with this since 1998.


75 Diana January 22, 2010 at 19:29

Pork allergy is real

I discovered I had a pork allergy about 22 years ago. The method of testing for this was to record my foods eaten and my moods. The reaction I get to pork is to become irritable and extremely cranky. The allergy did not show in the blood and skin tests done for allergy – but my mood change is genuine and will happen even now.

I get annoyed at doctors who shrug food allergies or food intolerance’s aside. I also have a dairy intolerance. I even get upset with those who think if a reaction is not instantly life threatening that it is not an allergy. To me, long term consuming of foods that cause ill health reactions will lead to poor health in the long term – may not be threatening to life (as per instant death), but definitely threatening to lifestyle (developing debilitating illnesses). Avoiding the foods I have an intolerance/allergy to helps to control the discomfort I experience, including: arthritic pain, symptoms of the flu (when I have too much dairy products), and severe mood swings (when I eat pork in any form). I have my own theory about pork in my family – having had a mother and sister diagnosed with bipolar disorder – I think pork has something to do with their illness. The manic phase of their illness certainly resembled the mood change I experience when I have pork (and I can’t resist the occasional bit of bacon still).

I don’t mind breaking my dairy diet regulary (can’t resist cheese), it takes a while for the symptoms to start showing. But the pork allergy symptoms are immediate – and I don’t like subjecting my family to my mood when it changes (though I have learned to control these moods through meditation, and sometimes I just go and sleep it off). I’d love to know what kind of physical changes are taking place to escalate my moods the way it does when I eat pork (bacon, ham, salami, any meats made from pig and pig blood – you’d be surprised how many people don’t know the by products and processed foods that are made from pork).


76 guest May 18, 2010 at 00:16

I thought I was crazy when I attributed my muscle aches, extreme fatigue, and joint swelling were a meat and possibly dairy allergy. If I go several days without meat I feel so much better. Doctors don’t believe me when I say I think that meat is the cause of my health problems. I don’t get a rash and seldom have gastrol problems so it took me a long time to figure out what might be causing my feeling like I have the flu all the time.
My first indicator that I have a problem with beef is that sometimes after I ate it I would feel like I was high-I used to regularily joke about my beef high-now I know it is no joke. Not that I want anyone else to suffer but it is comforting to know that I am not the only one suffering from this problem and it’s not all in my head.

On an up note I have found that I can eat and drink things made with raw milk-something that people with a mild milk allergy might want to try before giving up dairy all together.


77 Tara March 10, 2010 at 13:39

Get a new Dr

I was hospitalized twice for my pork allergy, and have been to the allergist and been tested and confirmed to have a pork allergy.. so your dr is very wrong. I have been dealing with it for 12 years and although I avoid anything that might have pork or grilled items that could be cross contaminated avoiding it is difficult and people don’t listen. I have taken to saying ” Please ask the chef if there is pork involved in this at all , it will kill me”.. and I still get bacon bit ( cause thats not pork its bacon???). The catch is you need to watch many things many drugs and insulin both contain pork products. I am considereing just eating Kosher because I know it is safe .


78 admin March 10, 2010 at 13:58

Kosher or Halal the ultimate pork-free

Eating Kosher or Halal will certainly keep you away from the pork.

There are a few differences, since these diets go beyond pork elimination. They are also strict about types of fish (no shell fish) and food combinations (no milk + meat).

It is probably a good strategy at restaurants, although some kitchens may feel they can cheat with no consequences (let’s hope not, but it has to be kept in mind, unless run by someone driven by religion rather than profit when it comes to running the place.)

Basically, it sounds like a good idea, so let us know how it works out for you.


79 Heather May 12, 2010 at 13:24

I have been allergic to pork since i was a child, i developed the allergy after a Christmas during which we had tons of pork and pork related foods. You are not alone. I came to this site beacuse i think i am now allergic to deer meat


80 Guest August 4, 2011 at 04:23

Hi to ALL,

ALPHA GAL is most likely the condition which you have. Typically it is associated with eating pork and beef but not venison or other wild animals.

Seek a good allergy specialist. One I could recommend in the Atlanta Area is Dr. Theodore Lee. He recently diagnosed a friend with this condition. She had already been to several allergist and was taken via emergency to the hospital numerous times with severe anaphylaxis that almost caused her death. NO ONE KNEW THE CAUSE until she went to Dr. Lee. He knew immediatedly and tested to confirm his suspicion. It is a specialized test.

Do not let any doctor discount your symptoms as they can be life threatening. Be persistent!!! Good Luck!
I am discovering foodstuffs that cause a lot of aches and pains (food sensitivities) not just anaphylaxis, including Hot Tamales which I dearly love (pork gelatin or the dye?)


81 HIP January 23, 2011 at 20:46

Hi – I am not allergic to pork in the anaphalactic sense but definitely VERY intolerant to it. Within an hour of eating any pork (but strangely not ham, bacon, or proscuitto) I get severe stomach pains, gas, bloating, diahrrea and sometimes vomitting. It is as though my body does everything to get it out of my system as quickly as possible. That’s it for reaction though. I totally think it is possible to be allergic to anything.


82 Allergy Guy May 13, 2010 at 16:10

That’s a read drag about your husband’s meat allergy, Jodie.

Certainly the circumstances (tick bite) provide an explanation that fits with the theory for one of the meat allergy causes.


Previous post:

Next post: