If you are allergic to shellfish, you have a common adult food allergy. For your safety, you may carry a detailed list of shellfish with you. If you don’t, please jot down our extensive, alphabetical list, which follows. Popular shellfish at eating places are abalone, clams, cockle, crabs, crawfish, crayfish, lobsters, mussels, octopus, oysters, scallops, sea urchin, shrimp (prawns), snail (escargot) and squid (calamari).
You may not be allergic to all shellfish, since shellfish can be grouped as crustaceans or mollusks. Speak to your allergist about that. Fortunately, the federal Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) requires the listing of the specific shellfish on a food label.
However, even if your allergist encourages you to eat specific shellfish, it is wise to avoid the entire group, while dining out. Various shellfish can be hidden in stews and soups, a danger to you, due to your shellfish allergy. In the restaurant’s kitchen, cross contamination is possible through utensils, the grill and the food preparation area. Avoid fried foods, such as potatoes and chicken, because the cooking oil could be shared with fried shrimp or other shellfish.
When eating out, alert your server to your shellfish allergy. Always ask plenty of questions, before ordering and taking your first bite.
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