Pork Allergy

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A pork allergy is an adverse immune response 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 pork allergy sensitivity 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), pork allergy rash, 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 symptoms of pork allergy 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. We provided a pork allergy food list to help you navigate through this difficult allergy.

Pork Allergy Foods To Avoid

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.

Pork Allergy Diagnosis

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 type of pork allergy testing does not require preparation as most other tests do such as a pork allergy patch test; 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 pork allergy 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. A food allergy specialist can help you manage your diet and symptoms. Contact NY Allergy & Sinus Centers for more information.

In the event of an allergic reaction, over-the-counter allergy medication can soothe some of your symptoms. You may also need a prescribed cortisone cream to soothe your pork allergy rash and inflammation. Since pork allergy is a severe food allergy, you should also carry an epinephrine injection. Your allergist will train you how to administer the medicine.

Pork Allergy Frequently Asked Questions

What Causes Pork Allergy?

There are many studies that show a relationship between pork and cats. Cat serum albumin cross-reacts with albumin in pork. This means that if you are allergic to pork, it most likely stems from an allergy to cats.

If I’m Allergic to Cats, Will I Be Allergic to Pork?

If you’re allergic to cats, it doesn’t mean that you will develop a pork allergy. However, if you’re allergic to pork, there’s a high chance that you are allergic to cats. Visit an allergist for an allergy test.

Can Pork Allergy Cause Anaphylaxis?

It is rare, but there have been cases of anaphylaxis caused by a pork allergy. If you’re allergic to pork, you should always carry epinephrine.

Is Pork Allergy Curable?

No, you can’t cure a pork allergy. However, if you’re allergic to pork, our NYC allergists can help you manage your allergy.

Why Are People Allergic to Pork?

Most people allergic to pork are also allergic to cats. This is due to an allergic response to cat serum albumin that cross-reacts with albumin in pork.

Can I Be Allergic to Pork?

If you’re allergic to cats, you have a slightly increased chance of being allergic to pork. If you experience pork allergy symptoms, visit a food allergy specialist for a diagnosis.

How is Pork Allergy Treated?

Most cases of pork allergy are treated with over-the-counter allergy medication, inhaled corticosteroids, and anti-itch creams.

How is Pork Allergy Diagnosed?

An allergist can diagnose your pork allergy or intolerance with an allergy test.