Seafood Allergy

What is the difference between crustaceans and shellfish?

‘Shellfish’ is the largest category of aquatic life forms, after fish. What makes shellfish unique is that they have a two-part shell. Clams, certain types of squid and octopi, oysters, mussels, and scallops all fall in this category. ‘Crustaceans’ have an outer shell as their body. Animals in this category include crabs, lobsters, shrimp, prawns, and crayfish.

If I’m allergic to these foods, how can I avoid them?

Fish, crustaceans and shellfish will naturally be listed on the label of prepackaged foods using their common names (e.g., tuna, salmon, lobster, crab, clam, oyster, etc.). Products should also have warnings such as “may contain” or “may contain traces of ” fish, crustaceans or shellfish. Always avoid the foods that have these ingredients and warnings.

Who is affected by seafood allergies?

Even though anyone can develop this allergy, it seems that in North America the adult population is more affected than children.

Are fish oils (omega 3s) safe for seafood-allergic consumers?

Food allergies of all kinds stem from the proteins within the chemical makeup. Fish oil, however, is refined to a state eliminates the presence of protein in the oil. This makes fish oils safe to consume for most people with seafood allergies. You may always check with your allergen specialist if you are unsure.

Avoiding seafood and seafood derivatives

Definitely, do not eat at seafood restaurants! Read all labels before purchasing foods from your regular grocery store. Remember that manufacturers may occasionally change their recipes or use different ingredients for varieties of the same brand.