Turkey Allergy Test
Latin name: Meleagris gallopavo
Source material: Raw meat
Turkey is a food which may result in allergy symptoms in sensitised individuals.
Turkey Allergy Test: Allergen Exposure
Turkeys originated in ancient Mexico, where they were first domesticated by the Aztecs. Turkey meat is sold whole, in a similar manner to chicken, or broken down into its constituent parts, i.e. breast, legs, wings, etc. Ground turkey meat is commonly sold as a lower fat alternative to ground red meats, and is used as a substitute in many recipes.
Cooking methods vary. Whole birds are usually roasted or baked, sometimes being brined beforehand to improve the flavour and ensure the meat doesn’t become too dry. In the United States, whole turkeys are often deep fried, for which a specialist fryer is required due to the large size of the bird.
Sliced turkey is sold as a deli meat and is a popular sandwich filling.
Turkey meat is also processed in a number of ways. It is often smoked and can then be used to produce turkey “ham” or “bacon” which is offered as a healthier alternative than pork. This style is also popular among communities whose religious beliefs prohibit eating pork, such as Jewish or Muslim communities.
Turkey is also used as a substitute for chicken or other meats in burgers, sausages or nuggets, in part due to its lower cost.
Wild turkey is hunted for its meat, and is considered to have a gamier and more intense flavour than farm reared turkey, in part due to greater variety in its diet.
Turkey forms the centrepiece of traditional meals such as Thanksgiving in the United States (commonly served with mashed potatoes, corn on the cob, green beans, squash, and sweet potatoes) as well as Christmas dinner in the UK (usually with roast potatoes, Brussels sprouts, gravy and cranberry sauce). The whole turkey carcass is generally roasted, usually with a stuffing of chestnut, sage or sausagemeat.
In the UK alone around 7 million turkeys are consumed each year over the Christmas period. Turkey with mole sauce is the national dish of Mexico.
Turkey Allergy Test: Allergen Description
No specific allergens present in turkey have been fully characterised to date, although a number of proteins have been identified.
Turkey Allergy Test: Potential Cross-Reactivity
Immunochemical relationships between hen and turkey indicate that turkey meat may elicit reactions in patients reacting to chicken meat. Additionally turkey egg yolk and turkey meat may have some allergens in common.
There is no close relationship between allergy to poultry meat and allergy to red meat.
Turkey Allergy Test: Clinical Experience
Allergy to poultry meat is rare and affects both children and adults. Secondary poultry meat allergy may arise in the context of bird-egg-syndrome, which is caused by sensitization to serum albumins present in many tissues including muscle tissue and egg yolk.
Symptoms of primary poultry allergy may include oral allergy syndrome, gastrointestinal complaints, urticaria, angioedema, and in rare cases anaphylaxis with cardiovascular symptoms.
Raw or undercooked turkey may contain salmonella, and therefore care should be taken when handling and preparing turkey, and cooking times should be adhered to carefully.