If you’re allergic to one kind of seafood, your doctor may have told you to avoid others. Here’s what to look out for.
Surprising Sources of Seafood
These foods may contain anchovies:
- Worcestershire sauce
- Barbecue sauces made with Worcestershire
- Caesar salad and Caesar dressing
- Caponata (Sicilian eggplant relish)
Other foods that have seafood:
- Caviar and fish roe (fish eggs)
- Artificial fish like surimi, an imitation crabmeat sometimes used in sushi
- Fish sauce, oils, and gelatin
- Certain brands of eggs, yogurt, juices, milk, and soy beverages fortified with omega-3 fatty acids.
6 Easy Ways to Avoid Seafood
- Stay out of seafood restaurants. Even if you order beef, bits of seafood from a shared spatula, cooking oil, or grill can get in your food.
- In any restaurant, let your server know about your allergy and ask that the kitchen staff use separate utensils and work surfaces to make your food. Cross-contact can happen anywhere that uses a lot of fish or shellfish ingredients.
- Don’t shop for or cook seafood. Let someone else do it. You may have a reaction just from touching it or being in an area where someone is cooking it.
- Ask your doctor if any fish or shellfish is safe to eat.
- Don’t try out any kinds on your own, though. That could cause severe allergic reactions.
- Ask your doctor whether it’s safe for you to take fish oil supplements. You can also find those good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids in other places. Leafy green vegetables, walnuts, flaxseed oil, soy oil, canola oil and microalgae (spirulina) are good options.
- Read labels. Other foods — as well as lotions, cosmetics, and medicine — may have fish in them.
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America: “Seafood Allergy."
- Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network: “Fish," “Shellfish," “How to Read a Label for a Shellfish-Free Diet."
- Food Allergy Initiative: “Fish Allergy," “Shellfish Allergy."
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: “Eat Right: Omega 3 Fatty Acids — Something’s Fishy!"
- National Institutes of Health: “Omega-3 Fatty Acids and Health."