Products That May Contain Alpha-gal

Food products that may contain alpha-gal

AGS can be severe, and even life-threatening. Seek immediate emergency care if you are having a severe allergic reaction.

Not all patients with AGS have reactions to every ingredient containing alpha-gal.  The following foods or food ingredients may contain alpha-gal. This is not a list of all products or ingredients that may contain alpha-gal.

  • Charcuterie board with various meats and cheeses

    Meat and dairy contain alpha-gal, which can lead to a severe allergic reaction.

    Mammalian meat (such as beef, pork, lamb, venison, rabbit, etc.) can contain high amounts of alpha-gal.

    • Certain cuts of meat may contain more alpha-gal than others. For example, organ meat of mammals, including liver, lung, heart, kidneys, intestines (tripe), sweetbreads, scrapple, and Rocky Mountain or prairie oysters generally contain high amounts of alpha-gal.
  • Food products that contain milk and milk products typically contain alpha-gal.
    • Many patients with AGS can tolerate milk products.
    • Cow’s milk is the only alpha-gal containing ingredient classified as a major food allergen. Under the Food Allergen Labeling Requirements of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, food labels must clearly identify the food source names of any ingredients that are one of the major food allergens or contain protein derived from a major food allergen in the ingredient list or a separate “Contains” statement.
  • Some people with AGS may also be sensitive to alpha-gal found in
    • Gelatin made from beef or pork
    • Products made from or cooked with mammalian fat (such as lard, tallow, or suet)
    • Meat broth, bouillon, stock, and gravy

Foods that do NOT contain alpha-gal:

  • Poultry, such as chicken, turkey, duck, or quail
  • Eggs
  • Fish and seafood, such as shrimp
  • Fruits and vegetables

Non-food products that may contain alpha-gal

  • Some medications and vaccines may contain small amounts of alpha-gal-containing additives, stabilizers, or coatings. Not all patients with AGS react to these ingredients.
  • Lists of additives to specific vaccines (called vaccine excipients) are available through CDC’s Pink Book [PDF – 4 pages] and the Institute for Vaccine Safety. Ingredients that may contain alpha-gal include, but are not limited to:
    • Gelatin
    • Glycerin
    • Magnesium stearate
    • Bovine extract
  • Other medical products, such as heart valves from pigs or cows, monoclonal antibodies, heparin, and certain antivenoms are animal-derived and may contain alpha-gal.
  • As with any severe allergy, patients with AGS should work with their healthcare providers to make decisions about individual risk and benefit from specific vaccines and medications.