If you suffer from a shellfish allergy, a strict avoiding of shellfish and food, containing shellfish, is the only method to prevent an allergy reaction. The shellfish allergy reaction can vary from light to severe and include such symptoms, as swelling, hives, wheezing, disorienting, anaphylactic shock, etc. There are experiments, proving that if an individual suffers from the allergy to one type of shellfish, he is likely not to suffer from the others, however, the doctors still persist in avoiding all shellfish food. The shellfish varieties include abalone, clams, crab, crawfish, crayfish, lobster, oysters, scallops, shrimp, cockle, sea urchin and mussels.
The point of avoiding shellfish food especially concerns children, since if your child has once been diagnosed with a severe shellfish allergy, he is likely to have it for life. That is the reason why it is better for children, whether they have a shellfish allergy or not, to stay apart from seafood restaurants; and in the case you dine at the restaurants with your children, you should consider the following recommendations.
You should be careful with fried food. Some restaurants use the same oil to fry shrimp, chicken and French fries. In addition, keep in mind that a shellfish imitation may still contain shellfish as many manufactures add shellfish for flavoring. Before using it, read the label to be sure. Generally, the major rule for parents with children is to read any food label first and only then offer the food to their children.
Your doctor should be able to provide you with a complete list of ingredients that may indicate shellfish and/or fish protein. Nevertheless, there are always new products, being created with the additions of shellfish essences. If you are not sure in the exact nature of the ingredient, it is better not to eat it.
The food items that comprise fish are the Worcestershire sauce and the Marinara sauce (anchovies). Hot dogs, pizza toppings, bologna and ham can all consist of Surimi Menhaden, a type of fish, caught along the Atlantic coast. It is used in products, such as vitamins, soap, lipsticks, paints, insect sprays and waterproofing.
Another negative side of eating shellfish is shellfish poisoning, which is identified in four distinct syndromes: Paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP), Neurologic shellfish poisoning (NSP), Diarrheal shellfish poisoning (DSP) and Amnestic shellfish poisoning (ASP). All four syndromes are primarily associated with bivalve mollusks, such as mussels, clams, oysters, scallops and some others.
These shellfish accumulate many poisoning toxins, which are not inactivated by the ordinary cooking methods. The result of any shellfish poisoning may vary from simple intoxication to death, and the cases are numerous. Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Pacific Islands regularly report toxic shellfish outbreaks. In the USA, the cases of shellfish poisoning are rare due to strong control policies, and scientific and educational programs as well.
According to mortality figures from recent outbreaks worldwide, children are more sensitive to shellfish poisoning. Then, go elderly people and foreign tourists. Although shellfish is tasty, it seems better to be careful.