IgG Food Allergen: Optimal Testing Recommendations

  • IgG food allergen testing is not recommended to diagnose food allergy
  • Testing for food allergens is best done by allergists and immunologists using a combination of medical history, skin prick tests,  serum/plasma  for food specific IgE, and food challenge (1). 

Guidelines for Test Utilization

What does the test tell me?

The presence of food specific IgG indicates previous exposure not hypersensitivity. [back to top]

When should I order this test?

The American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, the European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, and the Canadian Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology recommend against IgG food allergen testing. [back to top]

When should I NOT order this test?

Do not order IgG food allergen testing. [back to top]

How should I interpret the result?

Not applicable. [back to top]

Is the test result diagnostic/confirmatory of the condition?

No, IgG to food allergens is not diagnostic of food allergy. [back to top]

Are there factors that can affect the lab result?

Not applicable. [back to top]

Are there considerations for special populations?

Not applicable. [back to top]

What other test(s) might be indicated?

Food specific IgE and skin prick tests (2). [back to top]


Bernstein IL, Li JT, Bernstein DI, et al. Allergy diagnostic testing: an updated practice parameter. Ann Allergy Asthma Immunol. 2008 Mar;100:S1–148. PMID: 18431959.

Carr S, Chan E, Lavine E, et al. CSACI Position statement on the testing of food-specific IgG. Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol. 2012 Jul;8(1):12. PMID: 22835332

Last reviewed: March 2023. The content for Optimal Testing: the Association for Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine’s (ADLM) Guide to Lab Test Utilization has been developed and approved by the Academy of Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine and ADLM’s Science and Practice Core Committee.

As the fields of laboratory medicine and diagnostic testing continue to grow at an incredible rate, the knowledge and expertise of clinical laboratory professionals is essential to ensure that patients receive the highest quality and most useful laboratory tests. ADLM’s Academy and Science and Practice Core Committee have developed a test utilization resource focusing on commonly misused tests in hospitals and clinics. Improper test utilization can result in poor patient outcomes and waste in the healthcare system. This important resource geared toward medical professionals recommends better tests and diagnostic practices. Always consult your laboratory director to make sure these recommendations are appropriate for your patient population.