Pork Allergy

A pork allergy is any physical reaction after consuming pork and its byproducts. It is also called pork-cat syndrome because most pork allergies are related to cat allergies. People develop this allergy due to an allergic response to cat serum albumin that cross-reacts with albumin in pork. Other causes of pork allergy are unknown. Undercooked pork meat or dried and smoked pork products tend to cause more reactions than well-cooked pork meat.

Pork Allergy Symptoms

  • Urticaria (hives), redness, and inflammation of the skin
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms including nausea, vomiting, and stomach cramps
  • Runny or stuffy nose
  • Mild fever
  • Wheezing and difficulty breathing
  • In rare cases, anaphylaxis

If you experience these symptoms after eating pork and have a known allergy to cats, you should seek treatment immediately. During this time, avoid all pork and products that contain pork ingredients.

Foods That Contain Pork Ingredients That Should Be Avoided

  • Jello
  • Marshmallows
  • Bag Gravy
  • Chili Sauces
  • Bag Seasoning Mixes
  • Refrigerated Pie Shells
  • Some Potato Chips
  • Some Sodas
  • Can Refrigerated Biscuits
  • Hostess Cupcakes
  • Kellogg Fruit Snacks
  • All Other Products Containing Gelatin

There may be other foods not listed that contain pork ingredients. Pork is also hidden in some detergents, cleansers, dish liquids, and soaps. It’s important to read labels on packaged foods. Look for words like hydrolyzed animal protein, gelatin, and monostearate. These proteins come from animal fats.

Diagnosing A Pork Allergy

An allergy blood test or provocation test works best to diagnose this allergy. A blood test measures the IgE antibodies in your blood responsible for your allergic reaction to pork. This allergy test does not require preparation as most other tests do; however, you may have to wait weeks to receive your test results. During this time, refrain from eating pork.

An allergy provocation test, also known as a food challenge, requires you to eat pork in a clinical setting. An allergist will recommend this test if you have a known cat allergy. You should not attempt this challenge at home, as it can cause a severe allergic reaction. Your doctor will have emergency medical equipment close by if needed.

Pork Allergy Treatment

Treating a pork allergy begins with avoidance. Adopt a new diet and carefully research new food items you want to try to ensure there are no pork ingredients in it. In the event of an allergic reaction, over-the-counter allergy medication can soothe some of your symptoms. Since pork allergy is a severe food allergy, you should also carry an epinephrine injection.


For questions or concerns about pork allergies, call NY Allergy & Sinus Centers. We provide many treatment options for an array of allergies in six locations throughout Manhattan and Queens. To book an appointment with one of our board certified allergists, call (212) 686-4448 today!


  • NY Allergy & Sinus Centers

    Our premier team of allergists offer state-of-the-art methods for diagnosis and treatment of allergies and sinus conditions. Our NY Allergy & Sinus Centers perform Allergy Skin and Blood Testing, Food Allergy Testing, Patch Testing, and Immunotherapy, and often a same-day diagnosis is possible.

Back to Top