10 Hidden Triggers of Seafood Allergies

Anyone with seafood allergies knows that any time they try a new product, a new restaurant, or a new meal the are putting their life into their hands. A seafood allergy can lead to Anaphylaxis, which causes restricted breathing. When you live with a known seafood allergy you cannot shop without reading labels. When you live with a seafood allergy, you cannot eat at a new restaurant without first grilling the wait staff about their cooking methods and ingredients list. Even when you are diligent about avoiding seafood, there are some hidden triggers that can creep up on you. Here are 10 hidden triggers of seafood allergies that need to be avoided.

According to the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, seafood allergies are “much more prevalent than once thought, with more than 6.5 million Americans believed to be affected.” (Mount Sinai)

10 Hidden Triggers of Seafood Allergies

In addition to avoiding shellfish and fish and mollusks, people with known or suspected seafood allergies need to avoid the following hidden triggers of Anaphylaxis.

Worcestershire Sauce and Anaphylaxis

Worcestershire Sauce is one hidden trigger for an allergic reaction including Anaphylaxis.

Worcestershire Sauce that is made properly includes anchovies. It is not enough just to avoid Worcestershire Sauce including Lea and Perrins which is made with anchovies. Anyone with seafood allergies also needs to avoid any marinades or sauces that use Worcestershire Sauce. Even a trace amount of anchovies present in a small amount of Worcestershire Sauce in a marinade can trigger Anaphylaxis.

Worcestershire Sauce can be found in different BBQ sauces. In restaurants, Worcestershire Sauce may also be used to marinade prime rib, mixed in with meat loaf, or used in pork dishes.

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It is best to avoid having any type of Worcestershire Sauce in the house. Also avoid eating any restaurant dishes which may include Worcestershire Sauce.

Glucosamine Supplements

Glucosamine supplements are used to ease joint pain and to improve cartilage health (Arthritis & Glucosamine Information Center) Glucosamine supplements are another source of hidden seafood ingredients. Some Glucosamine Supplements contain shark cartilage.

Anyone with seafood allergies and joint issues who would like to take Glucoasmine can take a vegan Glucosamine supplement, which will not trigger Anaphylaxis. For example, Deva Nutrition makes a vegan Glucosamine supplement that does not contain any fish or animal cartilage.

Avoid Cooking Seafood to Avoid Anaphylactic Reactions

Even the act of cooking seafood for someone else can trigger an allergic reaction including Anaphylaxis. When you have a known seafood allergy you should not ever handle seafood or cook seafood for someone else.

Inhaling the steam from cooking or cooked shrimp is enough to cause an allergic reaction including Anaphylaxis.

Imitation Crab Meat and Anaphylactic Reactions

If you have a seafood allergy and you still crave seafood, you should avoid imitation crab meat. Although it is not crab meat, it is still made with real fish. Some people who have an Anaphylactic reaction to shellfish also react to other fish, including flaky fish.

Caesar Salad and Allergies

When made correctly, Caesar Salad contains anchovies and/or Worcestershire Sauce. A Caesar Salad is best avoided when eating out unless you can determine that the salad and the dressing do not contain any Worcestershire Sauce or anchovies.

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You can still enjoy a modified Caesar Salad at home, without fear of Anaphylaxis when you use a Caesar salad dressing that does not contain Worcestershire Sauce.

For those prone to allergies, traditional Caesar Salad can be a double whammy because it also contains eggs.

French Fries and and Anaphylactic Reactions

Not all restaurants fry their seafood separately from their other foods. While it would seem that they should, purely for the sake of taste, some just use the same fryer and the same oil. Eating any foods that were submerged and cooked in the same oil as seafood can cause an allergic reaction including Anaphylaxis.

Omega-3 Supplements and Allergies

Omega-3 Supplements, unless the are vegan, contain fish oils. Omega-3 Supplements should be avoided by anyone with a seafood allergy.

Deli Foods and Anaphylactic Reactions

In grocery stores where the deli is combined with the fresh seafood department, people with seafood allergies should purchase their deli foods elsewhere. It is too easy for the seafood to cross-contaminate the deli area.

The best way to avoid an allergic reaction including Anaphylaxis is simply to shop somewhere else.

Frozen Foods and Allergies

Any frozen food entree that is made by a company which also makes seafood entrees has the potential to have trace amounts of seafood. Companies which prepare frozen meals in the same factories and manufacturing machinery as seafood are not required to label their products. COmpanies which use peanuts are required to mark all foods made in the same facilities with a warning note about peanut usage. The same is not true for seafood.

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Vegetable Sushi and and Anaphylactic Reactions

People with seafood allergies should avoid eating in any Sushi restaurant. Even some vegetable sushi dishes contain oyster sauce. In some cases, the seaweed may also cause an allergic reaction

Sources for 10 Hidden Triggers of Seafood Allergies

Arthritis & Glucosamine Information Center, http://www.glucosamine-arthritis.org
Deva Nutrition, www.devanutrition.com
Lea Perrins, leaperrins.com
“Seafood allergies often begin later in life,”http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/10491.php

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