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Health Library : Allergy and Asthma


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, such as cherrystone, littleneck, pismo, and quahog
  • Crab
  • Crawfish, crayfish, ecrevisse
  • Lobster, langouste, langoustine, scampi, coral, tomalley
  • Mussels
  • Squid, snail 
  • Oyster, octopus 
  • Scallops
  • Molluscs
  • Shrimp, prawns, crevette
  • Cockle, periwinkle, sea urchin

The following foods may contain the presence of shellfish protein:

  • Bouillabaisse
  • Cuttlefish ink
  • Fish stock
  • Seafood flavoring
  • Glucosamine
  • Surimi

It is important to remember:

  • When eating in a seafood 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 an accidental exposure and use it immediately.

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Online Resources of Allergy & Asthma

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