What are the potential allergens present in pizza?

It cannot be denied that pizza has been one of the popular foods that are readily offered in restaurants. This food always includes a crust along with toppings and sauces. Individuals who have certain food allergies must be careful when eating pizza. Depending on the recipe, most pizza contains one or more of the common food allergens including milk, tree nuts, eggs, wheat, fish, soy and shellfish. If you want to be prepared to handle an allergic reaction, read here.


Remember that pizza is not complete without the layer of cheese but for those who have milk allergy, this can be an issue. Allergy to cow’s milk is considered as the most common allergy in infants and children but even adults can also be allergic. An allergic response to milk can range from mild to life-threatening with symptoms such as difficulty breathing, wheezing, itching as well as hives and swelling. Luckily, it is easy to avoid cheese on pizza or replace cheese made out of cow’s milk with soy cheese.


Just like with milk allergy, allergy to wheat can lead to swelling, difficulty breathing, hives and itchiness.


Most of the pizza crusts contain wheat and certain proteins present in wheat such as gluten can trigger wheat allergy. It is important to note that wheat allergy is different from gluten intolerance since an actual allergy is a bodily reaction to the wheat. As for gluten intolerance, it is a digestive condition. Just like with milk allergy, allergy to wheat can lead to swelling, difficulty breathing, hives and itchiness. The pizza crusts made out of various grain flours such as quinoa, oat, corn, amaranth and rice are suitable alternatives for those who have wheat allergy.

Allergy to egg and other crust ingredients

Various recipes of the crust require eggs which is another potential allergen among those who are highly sensitive.  It is the protein in egg whites that is responsible for the problem yet some who have egg allergy could not eat the yolks since two parts could not be completely separate the yolk from the whites.

Those who have allergy to other foods such as soy, peanuts or tree nuts should also avoid the traditional pizza crust since some recipes contain soybean oil or peanut oil. Peanut, egg and tree nut allergies can be life-threatening and trigger itchiness, difficulty breathing and swelling. In some cases, a severe reaction can occur which is called anaphylaxis. If this reaction occurs, it requires immediate medical care. With this in mind, the individual should stick with recipes that are made using alternatives such as canola or olive oil.

Other possible allergens

There are certain toppings and sauces that can be considered as allergens in some individuals. If an individual is allergic to tree nuts, it is best to skip pizza that contains pesto which is made with pine nuts. If the individual is allergic to shellfish, he/she cannot eat pizza that has shrimp or other seafood toppings.


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