Pork Allergy Test
Latin name: Sus spp.
Source material: Raw meat
Pork is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Pork Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Pork refers to the meat obtained from the domesticated pig, which has been raised by humans for food since at least 5,000 BC. Pork is the most commonly consumed meat worldwide, with the largest consumers being China, the EU, the United States, Russia and Brazil.
Pork may be cooked from fresh meat or cured over time, either by smoking, salting or other methods. Cured meat products include ham, sausage/salami, pates, terrines and bacon.
The majority of traditional European sausages are made with pork including the Spanish chorizo, Italian salamis, French saucisses and English Cumberland or Lincolnshire sausages. Ham and bacon are made by salt curing fresh cuts of pork and brining, or by smoking.
Bacon is used both on its own, either fried or grilled, or as a cooking ingredient to add flavour and fat to a dish. Back bacon is an important constituent of the English and Irish cooked breakfast. It may also be used to bard (cover, baste and protect) roast meat or poultry.
In Italy, uncooked bacon, or pancetta, is served thinly sliced as part of a traditional antipasto. Similarly in Spain, cured leg of pork, or jamon iberico, is a delicacy served before meals.
Canned meats, for example the well known brand Spam, can be produced from chopped pork shoulder meat and ham.
As pork and pork fat are a common constituent in many processed meat products, it may be considered a hidden allergen.
Pork Allergy Test: Allergen Description
No specific allergens present in pork have been fully characterised to date, although a number of proteins have been identified including a serum albumin which is thought to be cross reactive with cat serum albumin.
Pork Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
Studies on pork-meat allergy has revealed a high frequency of concomitant allergy to cat epithelium, presumably caused by the similar structures of pork serum albumin and cat serum albumin.
The high degree of structural similarity between albumins of different animals suggest that patients sensitized by one species are likely to react to several meats and epithelia. It should be noted, though, that exceptions occur.
Pork Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Studies on allergic patients show that prevalence figures for pork allergy range between 1.5% and 20%.
In a study of asthmatic patients, 20% (children) and 8.6% (adults) were found to have allergy to pork.
A case of oral allergy syndrome caused by pork has been reported. Occupational dermatitis after contact with pork meat has also been reported.
Allergy to red meat is nevertheless rare in adults and the general understanding is that reactions to food are not delayed beyond one hour.
Research has revealed a previously not recognized clinical syndrome where skin
symptoms, but most importantly anaphylaxis, occur several hours after the ingestion of red
meat, although most cases occur after eating beef, pork or lamb. Sensitization is strongly associated with a history of tick bites.
Pork is known to carry diseases such as pork tapeworm, trichinosis and pigbel, therefore uncooked or undercooked pork can be dangerous to consume, although raw pork is sometimes eaten in parts of Europe.