One of our staff was treated at the ER for a severe allergic reaction following ingestion of a hamburger. Tests revealed a newly acquired allergy to red meat. The reaction to alpha-gal, a substance in mammalian meat, is an acquired allergy for individuals who have first been sensitized by a tick bite. One unusual feature of this allergy is that the reaction develops hours after ingesting red meat (beef, pork, or deer, for example). Typical symptoms include hives and anaphylactic shock. To avoid this and other illnesses that may result from tick bites, wear protective shoes, long sleeves and pants when walking in tall grass or dense vegetation, consider using insect repellants, and check for ticks at the end of the day.