Shellfish allergy recommendations


The only treatment for shellfish allergy is the exclusion diet and in very sensitive individuals inhalation exposure should be avoided.




Avoid labeled foods of these types:

  • Crustaceans: shrimp, prawn, lobster, scampi, European or common lobster, shrimp, crayfish, crabs, barnacles, coral, lobster liver, etc.
  • Molluscs (there are three types):
    • Bivalves: clams, cockles, tellina, mussels, razor shells, oysters, scallops.
    • Univalve molluscs or gastropods: limpets, common periwinkles or winkles, murex or rock snails, abalones.
    • Cephalopods: squid, octopus, cuttlefish.



Normally, if you are allergic to one type of shellfish, such as crustaceans, you must avoid foods from the whole family.

Remember that seafood is also part of many other foods (soups, pizzas, paella, frozen crab rolls, salads).

Individuals allergic to shellfish should be careful when eating in restaurants. They should avoid seafood restaurants because of the risk of contamination they are exposed to from contact with fish counters, spatulas, cooking oil, fryers or grills in which fish has been prepared. Furthermore, shellfish protein can be transported by air during preparation and can cause allergic reactions.


Univalve molluscs

Remember that you should avoid foods that have been fried in oil that has been previously used in cooking seafood, in contact with containers or utensils previously used in the preparation of dishes with seafood, and which have not been washed and rinsed thoroughly.

If the patient is allergic to shellfish, has asthma or urticaria/hives, see if you have exacerbations when cooking seafood at home (even though you do not eat), when in a fishmonger’s, or in a bar / restaurant that is cooking seafood etc. If so, stop buying and cooking seafood at home, and consult your allergist.

It is always recommended to limit consumption of industrial products to the maximum and be careful to read the label.

It is also highly recommended that the allergic person wears a bracelet or identification plate, with clear and conspicuous print, with the type of food allergy and what it specifically is.

It is convenient to carry self-injectable epinephrine and that the patient, family and carers have the necessary training for administration.

Bivalves molluscs

Bivalves molluscs

Allergy recommendations index.



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