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Serving Customers with Fish and Shellfish Allergies

Serving Customers with Fish and Shellfish Allergies

When preparing meals for guests with fish or shellfish allergies, it is important that cross-contact be avoided on all preparation and cooking surfaces. Cooked dishes are also a source of concern. Steam rising from cooked fish and shellfish can cause an allergic reaction in sensitive guests. So it is important to take care when serving meals that contain cooked fish.

Types of Shellfish

There are two different types of shellfish, that need to be avoided in ingredients as well. Each type contains several different species that can cause a reaction in guests with a shellfish allergy.

Mollusks
Crustaceans
Abalone
Shrimp
Mussel
Crawfish
Scallop
Crab
Clam
Lobster
Oyster
 
Snail (escargot)
 
Cockle
 
Octopus
 
Squid (calamari)
 
Common Ingredients and Foods that Contain Fish or Shellfish

When preparing meals for customers with shellfish allergies read labels and avoid these common ingredients that may contain proteins:

Foods with Fish
Foods with Shellfish
Ethnic foods
Bouillabaisse
Caesar salad/dressing
Fish flavoring
Surimi (artificial crab meat)
Sumiri
Worcestershire sauce
Fish stock
Caponata (Sicilian eggplant relish)
Seafood flavoring
*Information in this table compiled from the Food Allergy Initiative’s Website on Food Allergies
Use Separate Fryer Vats

A commonly overlooked source of cross-contact with regards to shellfish is the commercial fryer. It is important to remember that food proteins are not killed by cooking. So using the same fryer vat to cook fish and other products will result in protein transfer and can cause an allergic reaction.

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