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Specific Food Allergies > Fish/Shellfish Allergy

Hidden sources for Fish/Shellfish: do you know of any?

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I have copied the posts without dates or names.  Saves you the trouble of going to the old place.~~~SilverLining

This thread has been copied from our former location.  Any new sources for hidden fish or shellfish will be added here.

Hidden sources for Fish/Shellfish: do you know of any? page 1
Hidden sources for Fish/Shellfish: do you know of any? page 2
Hidden sources for Fish/Shellfish: do you know of any? page 3
Hidden sources for Fish/Shellfish: do you know of any? page 4

Ugh.... drinkable yogurt and kefir has jumped onto the "omega 3-/6" bandwagon...

with sardine and anchovy oils.   :-X

Jif Omega-3 peanut butter has fish oil in it. The label reads "anchovy and sardine oil, tilapia gelatin."


dietary supplements

certain surgical materials (not sure if these are in civilian trauma centers, but they are used in the military)


Saw this on one of the new "biopolymers"...

--- Quote ---Abstract
Chitin, extracted primarily from shellfish sources, is a unique biopolymer based on the N-acetyl-glucosamine monomer. More than 40 years have lapsed since this biopolymer had aroused the interest of the scientific community around the world for its potential biomedical applications. Chitin, together with its variants, especially its deacetylated counterpart chitosan, has been shown to be useful as a wound dressing material, drug delivery vehicle and increasingly a candidate for tissue engineering. The promise for this biomaterial is vast and will continue to increase as the chemistry to extend its capabilities and new biomedical applications are investigated. It is interesting to note that a majority of this work has come from Asia. Japan has been the undisputed leader, but other Asian nations, namely Korea, Singapore, Taiwan and Thailand have also made notable contributions. More recently, China has joined the club to become an increasingly major research source for chitin and chitosan in Asia. This review surveys select works of key groups in Asia developing chitin and chitosan materials for implantable biomedical applications.

Author Keywords: Chitin; Chitosan; Implants; Biomedical applications; Dental materials; Bone substitute materials; Wound healing; Tissue engineering; Drug delivery
--- End quote ---

I would suppose many dust-mite & cockroach allergic folks might cross-react with the chitin products, also.

Another natural product/drug that has found it's way into the mainstream in the last 15 years is glucosamine (like Osteo Bi-Flex).
My vet used this on our old Husky/Shepherd when we first moved here in 1993. He was 10 at the time, and was able to run around like a puppy for several more years. It really made a difference in his quality of life. Many folks at the Vet's office were also taking it for arthritis symptoms, but when I checked & saw it was from shellfish, I decided to refrain. Little did I know then...

And "coral calcium" is another natural source of shellfish protein. Too many other safe sources of calcium, so just be careful of health food products.


One big no-no for kids would be the "touch tanks" at aquariums. I have seen several articles about reactions in allergic children after playing in the education rooms at aquariums.

Also, some fish food contains shellfish, as does cat food. I had a hard time finding safe cat food for my allergic kitty (and avoiding a reaction for me, too.) 

Oddly enough, hermit crabs are vegetarians, so it would be up to the parents to weigh the child having a hermit crab, but most of the food would be safe. But you really wouldn't want the child to handle the crab.

Here is a good guide to fish/shellfish allergies from the Candian government. http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/fssa/labeti/allerg/fispoie.shtml


Oooo--oo I know!! Pick me!!

Fish food. Seriously.
My DH and DD have to feed our fish, and I have to be VERY careful when I clean the tank that I do not contact the water-- I get contact hives wherever it touches me.

Thank you, -- those are the two things I was thinking of-- many 'combination' supplements may now contain either 'natural' calcium or chondroitin/glucosamine ingredients-- so read labels VERY carefully.

The chitin stuff was the material that I was thinking of. I know that it is used as a wound packing in the military-- the stuff is truly a miracle material in battlefield trauma. But I think I'll avoid.


Thank you everyone for this great information!

quick question: what about tuna fish if you are only allergic to shellfish?


Tuna? I would still worry about the processing plant. Perhaps call the manufacturer about shellfish contamination, just like you would for peanuts.

I know Xxx said she has found Kosher tuna.


I reacted to tuna (in the can - don't remember what brands) a couple of times and not other times which makes me believe it may be cross contaminated with shellfish.

Also what about the dye that they inject into you when you go for an x-ray or sonogram? I'm actually curious about that because I may need to do that one day soon and am concerned.


This was the craziest, most unexpected thing I ever saw - McCain's Sweet Potato Fries. I was going through the camp pantry for PA, TN, Sesame last summer before DS went up there, and reading ingredients on everything freakin' thing in the kitchen. I pulled out the fries and showed them to the nurse and food service director as an example of completely unexpected hidden allergens. I mean really, who would ever suspect that, KWIM?


I will cross-post, as this information is not indicated for children...

Intra-Uterine Insemination procedure - some type of shellfish derivative used for washing the sperm.

There is another "wash" they can use, so please let them know of your allergy, and remind them each time you take the sperm in for the procedure. Don't wait until they are ready to start the IUI before reminding them of your allergy.


In current FAAN newsletter a member allergic to fish and shellfish reported a reaction to a salad dressing containing menhaden oil that was served at a restaurant. Menhaden are a type of fish, so avoid anything with this oil!


Thanks, I've heard of anchovies and always have to remind folks at the pizza place that these are fish.  But menhaden is a new one!

speaking of anchovies, Worcestershire sauce is made from them and is sometimes used in ceasar salad dressings.


What about gelatin? Do any fish/shellfish allergic people eat anything with gelatin in it? I do sometimes but not often like skittles, pop tarts, marshmellows. I can't tell if I react because I have many allergies.

Also I don't know about squid ink. Some pastas (dark pasta) are dyed with squid ink. I don't know if this affects people with shellfish as squid is considered in the same family as far as reactions go. I heard also heard people allergic to shellfish may react to spiderbites.

Shellfish - related


I just found out that certain types of Smart Balance spread contains fish oil.


Yes, thanks for the reminder about fish oil is showing up in the strangest things these days...yogurt, breads, cereals & even an orange juice. Yuck!   Always check the source of Omega 3's, as some are plant-derived & some are from fish oil.

Must they adulterate EVERYTHING?


--- Quote ---speaking of anchovies, Worcestershire sauce is made from them and is sometimes used in ceasar salad dressings.
--- End quote ---

BTW--The Kroger brand worcestershire sauce does not have anchovies. I need to go look to see if it claims to be vegetarian. I think my DH understood it that way, because that's what he bought and that's what we use--and not for my allergies but for my son's veggism.


So last night at Kroger I saw these new fangled Pringles sticks, and one variety (I think it was the cruncy wheat) had sardines in them--but still 0 calcium grams.   

It was labeled in bold with the other allergens.

Here is a link to get there. http://www.pringles.com/pages/index.shtml

I see here that they are made in Thailand--and of course distributed by P&G. Well, this would be out of my comfort zone no matter what. I saw these and thought these might be a option instead of pretzels for us. I can't find pretzels that are safe for both DS and me (Utz labels for sesame with their pretzels).

Anyway--thought fish allergic folks might be interested in this info.


I don't know if this would cause a reaction or problem at all for those with shellfish allergies, but I thought I'd mention it just in case. We don't deal with shellfish allergies in my home, so I'm not sure what you need to avoid.

I'm copying word for word from the June 2008 issue of Parents:

"Next time your child skins his knee badly, consider using the latest first-aid supply from the frontline KytoStat bandages ($15 for a pack of three at drugstore.com). Soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan have been using these bandages because they don't just protect the wound--they actually stop the bleeding. The secret is a pad made from chitosan, a compound found in shrimp shells. When you apply pressure to the pad, it adheres directly to the wound, interacts with red blood cells to create a tight seal, and allows the cut to heal naturally."

So do you think this could be an issue?


Yes--it could definitely be an issue--shrimp entering through the bloodstream. Not only that--comingling with my blood in that way, tricking it to think it's a friend.

The only potentially interesting thing about this is (and not interesting enough for me to risk life, btw) is wondering what my reaction would be like. Would it be GI? I had a GI reaction from an airborne source last year. My allergist (Houston one) said it's just how my body responds. I wonder how it would respond from exposure via my bloodstream.

Not something I'm wanting to learn, that's for sure!


Thanks I forgot about those types of band-aids. I also want to add another.

Organic plant food. I just saw one with Crab Meal in it.


I had a fancy chocolate bar (dark chocolate, ginger, wasabe) the other day that was labeled as "may contain pearl dust (shellfish)".

Pearl dust? First, does anyone really want to be eating this stuff (I'm assuming it's being put into some other boutique flavor of chocolate.) Second, is a mollusc considered a shellfish? Forgive my ignorance, I'm only dealing with PA.


I know I've mentioned this before, but it bears repeating. If your doc is the progressive type and puts you on vitamins,

PLEASE read the whole bottle.

My dermatologist put me on vit. A, which I took for a good long time (and was sick as a dog the WHOLE time, massive stomach cramps, nausea, disorientation, what I thought were random anaphalactic reactions) until I read the bottle and saw in the wee fine print that it was "derived from fish oil." I have since quit seeing that dermatologist, as he used several things on me that I was allergic to (including latex, my most severe allergy).

I have since seen other vitamins list this same source. I would recommend to anyone with allergies to fish and shellfish seek out the "vegetarian safe" products when it comes to vitamins.


Wow, I hadn't thought of pearl dust on foods. Not that I'm having Godiva any time soon, as I'm also chocolate allergic. But that really would be a double-whammy. I would also worry about this as a non-pareil decoration on fancy cookies or wedding cakes, too. Even the chef may not think of this.

And yes, vitamins are full of "natural" ingredients these days. DH is not allowed to take his fish oil capsules anymore, either.   

Funny thing, I grabbed the Lassie Brand Senior Dog Food a couple of weeks ago when I was in a hurry. It's still chicken only, just checked the first couple of ingredients on the list since I don't eat it myself. DD poured it into our big bin when we got home.

Every time I went to feed the dog it smelled "rancid" to me. I thought I just had a bad (opened or stale) bag. But DD said it smelled fine to her, and she usually does the feeding.

This week they were out of the regular variety, so I grabbed the Senior Dog Food variety again. Uggh...Chondroitin & Glucosamine about midway down the label. The regular Lassie Dog Food is ok for me. Just a little egg, but I haven't been ana to egg that I know of.
Watch out for dog & cat foods. Fortunately, it has not been enough to cause me to visibly react...and I am ultra-sensitive...but I don't need anything filling my allergy cup, either.



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