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Author Topic: Shellfish allergic and eating finned fish  (Read 880 times)

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Offline BrandyWineSeattle

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Shellfish allergic and eating finned fish
« on: December 10, 2015, 02:04:45 PM »
  So I just found out a few months ago that I'm allergic to shellfish (specifically shrimp and lobster, but I have resolved to avoid them all).  I have had several instances of cross-contamination since I've been learning to change everything about how I eat.  I never had allergies before, but now I have to carry an epi pen.
I am not allergic to finned fish, but one reaction that I had was from a tuna steak, so I've become even more wary of cross-contamination risks with fish.  I have read that some people have been fine with things like canned tuna, for example, or have been able to buy fresh fish from the docks and things.
As well, I've been cautioned about anchovies?
Has anyone had experience with severe shellfish allergy and any of these foods (i.e. tuna fish or anchovies), and/or experience with buying finned fish in different places?
I am trying to eat healthy, but I don't want to die for it and I'm scared to death.   :hiding:
I think I've been lost here before...

Offline PurpleCat

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Re: Shellfish allergic and eating finned fish
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2015, 02:43:09 PM »
Hello and Welcome!

Everyone has their own comfort zone based on their experiences with their particular food allergies.  And everyone's "shellfish allergy" is different.

Here is what works for our situation:

My DD is allergic to shellfish, tested, however, she can and does eat shrimp which we open challenged in the doctor's office first.  She reacts to crab and lobster. 

My DD is not allergic to mollusks (per her testing), however, she can not and does not eat clams due to a reaction.  She eats scallops often.

My DD is not allergic to fin fish and has not had any reaction to any she has eaten whether canned or fresh.

DD has never eaten raw fish.


So, how do I buy her fish?  I base what I chose by what is next to it in the case.  I use to ask the server to change gloves buy now our grocery stores just do that automatically.  I wash the fish when I get it home....really, I just rinse it with running cold water and blot it dry with paper towels.  Then prep and cook.

I always buy shrimp and scallops in the frozen bags instead of fresh because those areas of the case seem a bit shaky to me.

That works for us and DD has not had issues even ordering things like salmon when we are out to dinner.  She explains her many allergies and they do well preparing her food.


Food allergies are scary and you should not discredit your fear or your instincts.  You need to find what works best for you.  Find a place to buy fish that you can trust and give them all your business.

Offline CMdeux

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Re: Shellfish allergic and eating finned fish
« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2015, 08:18:54 PM »
I've sort of grandfathered a few high-risk things in for the sake of my sanity.  For example, I will eat salmon from Costco.  Don't ask me why that would be okay and other stuff not, because I'm not sure that it makes any sense.

Also, I will eat KOSHER tuna-- no problems at all there.   :heart:
Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

Western U.S.

Offline BrandyWineSeattle

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Re: Shellfish allergic and eating finned fish
« Reply #3 on: December 11, 2015, 10:34:30 AM »
Thank you so much!  I will have to find out where I can buy 'Kosher' fish.  I have heard that such places are extremely strict about shellfish and have a lower occurrence of contamination.

I have had reactions to fish filets in the past (bought frozen in a bag, no warning on label about processing) even though I've been tested and am not allergic, so I'm trying to rethink how I eat it.....but I'm also a lil' chubby, so being able to add fish to a healthy diet would help   :)

I think I've been lost here before...

Offline spacecanada

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Re: Shellfish allergic and eating finned fish
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2015, 10:20:26 PM »
Manufacturers do not have to disclose any risk of cross contact.  So they can make something I shared lines with an allergen and never have to declare it on the label.  This is voluntary! (I know, a shocker for anyone new to allergies and many who have had allergies for a long time too.) the only way to know whether food has a cross contact risk is to call the manufacturer and ask them directly. Take any 'cleaning measures' with caution.  Some people still have reactions, despite whatever cleaning measures some facilities take. Best case is an allergen-free facility.

If you have had trouble with fish already, perhaps you need to remove it entirely from your diet until you can get used to reading labels and calling manufacturers on lower risk items first. Just a thought. We don't eat meat or fish in our house and aren't allergic to either, so I don't know how feasible that may be for you.

Best of luck.
anaphylaxis to tree nuts, peanuts, and potatoes; severe dairy intolerance; vegan (preference)
family members allergic to dairy, egg, peanut, sesame, shellfish