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Author Topic: Tips for Avoiding Cross Contamination with Shellfish  (Read 8027 times)

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Offline Macabre

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Tips for Avoiding Cross Contamination with Shellfish
« on: December 05, 2012, 10:22:32 PM »
In addition to seeing hidden sources of shellfish and fish here, here are some tips:
Hidden sources for Fish/Shellfish: do you know of any?

I, almost without exception, do not eat grilled food or fried food at restaurants.  The are exceptions: a dedicated grilled or fryer for shellfish.  And that's typically if both the manager and the chef confirm it.  :)  When the staff says, "We clean it daily," I ask, "With what?"  They use water, folks. Water.  That won't get rid of the shellfish protein.

When I order, I typically use wording that we rarely do when ordering things for peanut allergic DS. I always mention "cross contact" (less offensive than "cross contamination") with utensils.  That's because my worst reaction was from tongs used to turn shrimp.  I honestly don't worry about that as much with peanut.

Actually eating at a restaurant typically involves ordering something as low risk as possible. Not ordering what I would like to taste or even ordering what is healthy.  Especially not that, as sometimes the safest food is something that has cooked in its own dish--baked.  And often that means something with a lot more sauce than I'd ever use myself. 

I don't buy fish in the grocery stores because I see cross contamination there all the time--in the windows.  I have no confidence in their handling fish safely, and I don't know the supply chain.  Now that I live in a city again, I assume I can buy fish at a Kosher market.  That should be safe.

What do you do to avoid shellfish cross contamination?
Me: Sesame, shellfish, chamomile, sage
DS: Peanuts

Offline CMdeux

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Re: Tips for Avoiding Cross Contamination with Shellfish
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2012, 07:57:02 PM »
Oh, well-- that's a really good list for starters.


I also:

a) identify a list of go-to fast food and local restaurants that have NO shellfish on the menu anywhere, and little-to-no fish, either,

b) recognize non-food sources of shellfish-- 'chitin' is usually shellfish sourced, and fish food is an obvious source of tiny shrimp.  I recently failed to wash my hands thoroughly enough after opening a fresh container of TetraMin, and whooooooooboy, was THAT a mistake.



Know that anywhere which is enclosed and is COOKING shellfish, particularly at high temperatures, or with mechanical agitation (like a stir-fry), is a high risk for aerosolization of shellfish protein.  This kind of thing very definitely gives me asthma attacks.

« Last Edit: December 06, 2012, 08:00:04 PM by CMdeux »
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forvictoria

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Re: Tips for Avoiding Cross Contamination with Shellfish
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2012, 12:58:47 PM »
Since I developed shellfish allergy, I stopped eating out in restaurants. Most restaurants where I live offer seafood/fish dishes. So I decided to avoid restaurants altogether.
I also buy kosher food now, and I will eat prepared food from a Kosher take out place or restaurant.
I shop mostly now in Trader Joe's rather than a supermarket chain. Trader Joe's seems to be pretty diligent in listing possible cross contamination on their labels, stating it is made on shared equipment with......
Also I like that Trader Joe's groups their food into categories, online. Like Kosher, Vegan, Vegetarian etc. I print out the list and go through it to see what I want to buy.

I read labels like crazy sometimes several times, a couple of times I neglected to see some important information, that could have been disastrous for me. I purchased a bag of marinated eggplant (frozen), read the ingredients, seemed safe, I went to cook it but decided to read the label again before opening the bag..and there it was....made on shared equipment with shrimp.



« Last Edit: December 11, 2012, 01:05:10 PM by forvictoria »

Offline CMdeux

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Re: Tips for Avoiding Cross Contamination with Shellfish
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2012, 02:58:19 PM »
I shop mostly now in Trader Joe's rather than a supermarket chain. Trader Joe's seems to be pretty diligent in listing possible cross contamination on their labels, stating it is made on shared equipment with......
Also I like that Trader Joe's groups their food into categories, online. Like Kosher, Vegan, Vegetarian etc. I print out the list and go through it to see what I want to buy.




Oooooo-- be careful... SO careful with this.

I've been burned and so has my DD with Trader Joe's uuneven disclosures on labels.  They used to be very diligent about disclosing shared processing-- but NOT ANYMORE.

They disclose it when THEY think that there is XC risk.  Otherwise, they don't.  So "cleaned" lines which "should" be okay?  No disclosure, at least some of the time.

Bottom line is that ANYTHING from Trader Joe's, if it reads fine, CALL ANYWAY to confirm that if you're worried about low level cross-contamination.

 :heart:

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forvictoria

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Re: Tips for Avoiding Cross Contamination with Shellfish
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2012, 02:03:34 PM »
Thank you so much for the warning.
When you go grocery shopping do you call up the manufacturers for each item you purchase? I haven't been, I have been going by the labels, for the móst part.
Any suggestions on safe grocery stores, meaning stores where they are diligent in giving cross contaminaiton warnings?

Which products at trader Joe's caused the problems for you?

I just got off the phone with trader joe's and we went through all the products of theirs in my house. and sure enough there were 3 items made on the same equipment of fish/shellfish that wasn't mentioned on the label. She was so nice though, we went through very many items.
She did say if the label has a shared statment or may contain statement it will list any of the top 8 and no need to call for those products and she said also once i find out about a Trader Joe's product, the manufacturing will not change, but that I am not sure about that.  I guess unless something changes on the label. What are your thoughts about that statement she made.
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 04:23:23 PM by forvictoria »

Offline CMdeux

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Re: Tips for Avoiding Cross Contamination with Shellfish
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2012, 05:33:55 PM »
Hmmmm... well, obviously it isn't true that a manufacturer can't change practices without any warning. 

I don't really know-- we do tend to grandfather in fairly low-risk and long-term-use products.  We'd go nuts otherwise, though, since we'd be calling about tree nuts, peanuts, egg, and shellfish for every individual package every time we purchase.

I don't have a grocery STORE that I trust.  I do have companies whose labeling practices I place more confidence in than others-- but I also know that some things are just plain too good to be true.

I do calll TJ's and you're right-- they are pretty good about telling you.  On the phone, that is.

I have reacted to the frozen Arancini bites (shellfish).  That was my own stupidity, since they clearly SAY that they're made on shared lines.  I just spaced it since we bought them since they were safe for DD-- egg and nut allergic DD.

DD has reacted (just as badly) to a shelf-stable tomato SOUP from Trader Joe's, though, and that was probably cashew contamination.   The line is washed, ergo no warning.  But it just about sent her to the ER after about three bites.   :-/
Resistance isn't futile.  It's voltage divided by current. 

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forvictoria

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Re: Tips for Avoiding Cross Contamination with Shellfish
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2012, 06:45:58 PM »
I'm sorry to hear that :( but now I will call on anything that reads safe just to be sure.

twinturbo

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Re: Tips for Avoiding Cross Contamination with Shellfish
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2012, 11:33:13 AM »
Chitosan spray as a natural mold control. I don't know how close to an actual protein chitosan is but 1) aerosolized 2) labeled as shellfish sourced. Saw that at Lowe's yesterday.