Common Allergies: Nuts, Fish and Seafood, Sesame

June 5, 2017 , , ,

Fish and Seafood


Being allergic to fish and seafood can be tricky because they aren’t exactly the same thing. Fish are vertebrates with fins that can live in water.  People are commonly allergic to tuna, salmon — both heavily featured in Western sushi — and halibut, but can be allergic to other species as well.

Shellfish are invertebrates with hard exoskeletons, but we also use it to refer to shelled mollusks, which are animals that live in shells like clams and mussels. The mollusk family also includes octopus and squid (calamari). This is what is classified as “seafood” in the kitchen.

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How to Avoid It

It’s incredibly important to first identify what you’re allergic to. Finned fish and seafood are completely unrelated in nature, apart from living in the water, so being allergic to tuna has nothing to do with being allergic to crab. Moreover, it’s an allergy that tends to develop later, after childhood.

The most likely culprits for fish, are tuna, salmon, and halibut. For seafood, it’s shrimp. These are fairly easy to avoid on their own, since they’re very often listed. Though, as with any allergy, always be wary of cross contamination. (If you’re a die-hard sushi lover though and know exactly what you’re allergic to, here are some terms to look out for: ebi = shrimp; maguro = tuna; hamachi = yellowtail tuna; ikura = salmon roe; sake/shake = salmon.)

Fish and seafood products aren’t always obvious. In food, they must be labelled but you might not know where to look. Anchovies, for example, are used in sauces and soups where they might not be obvious, like Worcestershire sauce. Fish products can be found in certain cosmetics as well as in certain vitamins and supplements. For a fuller list of fish and seafood, go here.

See our fish-free and seafood-free recipes >>

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Dania Sonin
Dania is a web designer and writer, though she loves anything creative and that includes cooking. Add to that a passion for food, and SOSCuisine was a perfect fit!

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