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Allergies Health Center

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Living With a Fish Allergy

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If you’re allergic to one kind of fish, your doctor may have told you to avoid others. Here’s what to look out for.

Surprising Sources of Fish

Foods that may contain anchovies

  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Barbecue sauces made with Worcestershire
  • Caesar salad and Caesar dressing
  • Caponata (Sicilian eggplant relish)

Other foods that have fish:

  • Caviar and fish roe (fish eggs)
  • Artificial fish like surimi, an imitation crabmeat, sometimes used in sushi
  • Fish sauce, oils, and gelatin

4 Tips for Avoiding Fish

  • Stay out of seafood restaurants. Even if you order the beef, bits of fish from a shared spatula, cooking oil, or grill can get in your food. That kind of cross-contact can happen in any eatery that uses a lot of fish or fish ingredients, including many ethnic restaurants.
  • Don't shop for or cook fish. Let someone else do it. You may get a reaction to touching fish or being in an area where it's being cooked.
  • Ask your doctor if any fish or shellfish is safe to eat. Don't try out a fish on your own, though. Fish can cause severe allergic reactions.
  • Read labels. Other foods -- as well as lotions, cosmetics, and medicine -- may have fish in them.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on October 31, 2014
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