Mammalian Meat Allergy (from tick bite)
Some people who have had a previous tick bite can develop an allergy to mammalian meats. The allergic reactions to mammalian meat range from mild to life-threatening. Mammalian meats include but are not limited to beef, pork, lamb, kangaroo, goat and venison. Mammals are animals that are born alive and not in a shell.
The tick bite occurs before any allergic reaction to mammalian meats. The allergic reactions to mammalian meat are typically delayed for 2-10 hours after eating the meat. The carbohydrate allergen in the meat to which people react is called “alphagal”.
Some people are so sensitive to alphagal, they react to products that come from or are made from mammals such as cow's milk and gelatine. Any product made from or by mammals may cause allergic reactions. Avoidance of the allergen is therefore very difficult as it may be found in a wide range of products used in foods and medical treatments.
Two new printable/downloadable versions of food allergen cards are available:
Mammalian Meat allergen card229.66 KB (A4 sized - perfect for downloading and viewing on your device)
Mammalian Meat allergen card96.78 KB (print then trim to wallet size - perfect for when shopping or eating out)
You can also purchase printed food allergen cards from our online shop.
To make eating out a little easier, A&AA has developed a Mammalian Meat Allergy Chef card. When telling the wait staff at a cafe or restaurant about your allergies, hand over your chef card and ask it to come back with your specially prepared meal.
Do you know the correct way to remove a tick?
The Australian tick is particularly good at provoking two very serious allergies, Mammalian Meat Allergy and tick bite anaphylaxis, so it's essential ticks are removed correctly. Remember freeze it, don't squeeze it! If a tick is removed correctly, the likelihood of someone developing mammalian meat allergy is very small.
Watch the National Allergy Council's short animation for more information and instructions on how to safely remove a tick.
For more information on mammalian meat allergy visit the Tiara website.
Content updated October 2021