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Shellfish Allergy Diet

General guidelines for shellfish allergy

The key to an allergy-free diet is to avoid all foods or products containing the food to which you are allergic. A shellfish allergy is an abnormal response of the body to the proteins found in shellfish. In order to avoid foods that contain shellfish, it is important to read food labels.

How to read a label for a shellfish-free diet

Be sure to avoid foods that contain any of the following ingredients:

  • Abalone

  • Clam: cherrystone, littleneck, pismo, quahog

  • Crab

  • Crawfish, crayfish, ecrevisse

  • Lobster, langouste, langoustine, scampi, coral, tomalley

  • Mussels

  • Squid, snail

  • Oyster, octopus

  • Scallops

  • Mollusks

  • Shrimp, prawns, crevette

  • Cockle, periwinkle, sea urchin

These foods may contain the presence of shellfish protein:

  • Bouillabaisse

  • Cuttlefish ink

  • Fish stock

  • Seafood flavoring

  • Glucosamine

  • Surimi

It is important to remember:

  • When eating seafood in a restaurant, any food may be cross-contaminated with fish or shellfish.

  • Stay away from steam tables or buffets where seafood is being displayed or served in order to avoid the cooking vapors.

  • Some allergic individuals will react to cooking odors or from touching fish or shellfish.

  • Always carry injectable epinephrine in case of accidental exposure and use it immediately.

Online Resources

Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America  http://www.aafa.org/display.cfm?id=9&sub=20&cont=518
Food Allergy Initiative  http://www.faiusa.org/?page=shellfish
Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network  http://www.foodallergy.org/
Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network  http://www.foodallergy.org/page/shellfish-allergy
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology  https://www.aaaai.org/patients/publicedmat/tips/foodallergy.stm

© 2000-2011 Krames StayWell, 780 Township Line Road, Yardley, PA 19067. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.