March 01, 2003
Meetings & Conventions: Short Cuts March 2003 Current Issue
March 2003
Short Cuts:

When Shellfish Attack

As many as one in five Americans are at least mildly allergic to shellfish, according to the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology ( In fact, it is the fourth most common adult allergy, behind peanuts, tree nuts and fish.

Even for diners who order carefully, shellfish is difficult to avoid. It might be hidden in Asian and Caribbean sauces, curries and stuffings, as well as soup stocks. Also, those colorful crisps served with Chinese food are made with shrimp.

True sufferers should always carry an EpiPen and avoid all contact with seafood. That means don’t even enter a seafood restaurant. Another option is to eat a kosher diet and request kosher meals when traveling; anything certified kosher is guaranteed to be free of shellfish.

Although many people outgrow childhood allergies, a true shellfish allergy will worsen over time. Visit an allergist the first time you suspect seafood has made you sick. For more information, call the Fairfax, Va.-based Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network. (800) 929-4040;


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