Shellfish Avoidance Handout COFAR
Shellfish Allergy FAAN
Shellfish Allergy Information FAIUSA
Shellfish Allergy Overview
Shellfish allergies are one of the most common food allergies. Unfortunately, along with peanut and tree nut allergies, are often are not outgrown, and can be a life-long allergy. Shellfish allergy symptoms can be severe resulting in anaphylaxis, therefore, an epinephrine autoinjector should always be available as emergency treatment.
Shellfish allergies fall into two different categories: Crustacean shellfish and Mollusk shellfish. Crustacean shellfish include, but are not limited, to shrimp, crab, and lobsters, while mollusk shellfish includes clam, mussels, oysters, squid. You can look at the resources listed on this page for a more extensive avoidance list of crustacean and mollusk shellfish. It is very important to know that the FALCPA Labeling Laws only mandate that only crustacean shellfish, but not mollusk shellfish, are required to be clearly labeled on food ingredient labels.
Another common question is the relation between shellfish allergy and iodine or radiocontrast allergy. People have raised concerns about the safety of receiving contrast for radiology studies like CAT scans if they have a shellfish allergy. As discussed in the Shellfish Allergy FAAN page, there is no relation between allergy to radiocontrast and a shellfish allergy.