Mustard Allergy

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Mustard allergy is the most common among the spice allergies. It usually develops early in a child’s life, but delayed allergies have also been reported. There are black, brown, yellow, and oriental mustards, but yellow and oriental evoke the most allergic reactions.  The major allergen in yellow mustard is Sin a 1. The allergen in oriental mustard is Bra j 1. Incidents of this allergy are growing across the world, and some countries even require mustard to be labeled as a major allergen on packaging. Because it is a true food allergy, symptoms can be very severe.

Mustard Allergy Symptoms

  • Skin reactions such as eczema caused by allergies, rashes, or hives
  • Swelling of the lips, face, tongue, and throat
  • Wheezing & breathing difficulty
  • Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Anaphylaxis

If you experience a severe allergic reaction after eating mustard, it’s important to visit an allergist for allergy testing. During this time, avoid foods that may contain mustard.

Foods That May Contain Mustard And Should Be Avoided

  • Barbecue Sauce
  • Pickles
  • Seasonings
  • Chips and Pretzels
  • Processed Meats
  • Soups
  • Fish Paste
  • Salad Dressing
  • Stocks
  • Ketchup
  • Steamed Greens
  • Curries
  • Mayonnaise
  • Pickled Sausage
  • Canned Baby Foods

Since the U.S. does not yet require mustard to be labeled as a priority food allergen, you should be more cautious when eating new foods. Look for hidden sources of mustard that could be in Indian and Russian cuisines. Also, beware of any pickled foods.

Diagnosing A Mustard Allergy

A skin prick test or blood test can diagnose mustard allergy. A skin prick test is the most common form or allergy testing and can detect many food allergies. However, it can deliver false results. In this case, a blood test for allergies will be used to confirm results. This test is safer than a food challenge.

If both allergy tests deliver false results, your allergist will resort to a food challenge. You will be asked to consume a small amount of mustard to see if it evokes an allergic reaction. This should only be done in a clinical setting with emergency medical equipment on hand.

Mustard Allergy Treatment

As with any food allergy, avoiding mustard is the first step in treatment. Since mustard elicits severe allergic reactions, emergency allergy medication needs to be prescribed. For asthma related symptoms, an inhaled corticosteroid is necessary to treat breathing problems related to this allergy. If the risk of anaphylaxis is high, your allergist will prescribe an epinephrine injection. Be sure to teach family and friends how to administer the injection.


A mustard allergy is a serious food allergy and should be diagnosed as early as possible. NY Allergy & Sinus Centers believes that a faster diagnosis means faster relief. That’s why we accept same-day appointments to get your allergies diagnosed and treated fast. For more information on mustard allergy or other allergies, call (212) 686-4448.