Prather Pediatric and Allergy Center - Ask Doctor Brent

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Category: Lagniappe - a little extra

If you are allergic to fish, beware of surimi. Surimi is made from fish muscle that is reshaped and used to make imitation seafood (Alaskan pollack, a species closely related to cod, is usually used; almost any species of fish can be used, too). Surimi is commonly found in imitation crab legs, lump crab meat, crab cakes, imitation lobster products, and imitation scallops.

Be cautious when ordering shell fish in a restaurant. If you cannot be absolutely sure the restaurant has not used imitation seafood, order something else. Imitation seafood my not be safe for people with shellfish allergies, because the flavoring used in the imitation seafood may be make from shellfish.

How to read a label for a SHELLFISH-FREE DIET:
Avoid foods that contain any of these ingredients:
clams (cherrystone, littleneck. Pismo, quahog)
cockle (periwinkle, sea urchin)
crawfish (crayfish, ecrevisse)
lobster (langouste, langousine, scampo, coral, tomalley)
shrimp (crevette)
snails (escargot)
squid (calamari)
The following ingredients may indicate the presence of shellfish protein:
fish stock
seafood flavoring (such as crab or clam extract)
Keep the following in mind:
Any food served in a seafood restaurant may be cross contaminated with fish or shellfish during handling and cooking.
For some individuals a reaction may occur from cooking odors or from handling fish or shellfish.
Always carry medications and use them as soon as symptoms develop.