Fish allergy (including shellfish allergy) can be found in both adults and children. Fish allergy seems to be easy to manage by just excluding fish in the diet. However, it’s not that simple. If you have fish allergy, there are rules that must be strictly followed when you cook your foods or even when dining out. Fish allergy caused by the protein contained in most of fish, called parvalbumin. Although it seems easy to avoid fish, fish allergy can become dangerous for your life when it turns to anaphylaxis, the most severe allergy reaction, which can cause death!
Fish allergy is also usually lifelong. Therefore, once you have diagnosed for fish allergy, it’s better to avoid all different kinds of fish and shellfish in your diet.
Read The Food Labels Carefully !
When you shop for food products for your families who have fish allergy, always take your time to read the labels carefully. These are several common names of fish products you should be aware of:
Fish (all species)
Surimi (imitation crab made from white fish)
Alginate (paired with ammonium, calcium, potassium, propylene glycol, sodium)
Fish In Foods To Avoid
Fish can also be found or sometimes hidden in these foods :
Caponata (a traditional sweet-and-sour Sicilian relish, can contain anchovies)
Caesar salad dressing (may contain anchovies)
Worchestershire steak sauce (may contain anchovies)
Surimi (imitation of crabmeat from white fish, can be found as pizza topping)
Asian sauces and dishes (egg rolls etc)
Japanese food (sushi, sashimi, tempura)
Shrimp balls, noodles, chips
Shrimp salad roll
Fruit de mer
Always check and re-check the ingredients before cooking or serving foods for fish allergy persons.
Dining Out Rules For Fish Allergy
When you take your children or families who have fish allergy to dine out, there are several rules you should be aware of :
Avoid seafood restaurants
Even if the restaurant provides non-seafood menu for fish allergy, there is still chance that the food serving will be contaminated by fish, especially in the food-preparation area. For example if the counter, spatula, cooking oil, fryer, or grill are exposed to fish.
Avoid Asian restaurant
If you dine in Asian restaurants, there is the same chance of fish contamination on your ordered menu. Avoid Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Vietnamese restaurant the best you can. Or if you have too, choose a small/family owned restaurant that you can trust.
There are 2 other reasons why people with fish allergy should avoid seafood market or restaurant,
Fish protein can become airborne during cooking and cause an allergic reaction.
Some fish allergy individuals even have reactions from walking through a fish-displayed shops or market.
Well….I know, it can be hard sometimes to deal with fish allergy, or any other allergies. But instead of dining out, why don’t you try to cook your own fish-free food for your entire family? So everybody can have delicious AND safe meals.