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    5 Tips to Avoid Hidden Shellfish

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    If you’re allergic to one type of shellfish, you may have problems with others. Take these steps to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction.

    Skip seafood restaurants. Even if you order something from the turf instead of the surf, the chef may use the same skillet or oil to cook your meal as he did a big pile of shrimp.

    Prevent cross contamination. If shellfish is on the menu, tell the server about your allergy. Ask him to make sure the kitchen staff uses separate utensils and work surfaces to make your food.

    Watch for hidden trouble. Fish stock and flavorings like fish sauce (common in Asian dishes) may include fish protein. Some makers add shellfish to imitation meat, like mock crabmeat, for flavoring.

    Stay out of the kitchen. You might be sensitive to a protein that’s released into the air when shellfish is cooked. Avoid steam tables, grills, or stove tops when it's being prepared.

    Read the label. Shellfish can also be in medicines, cosmetics, creams, and other foods.

    WebMD Medical Reference

    Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on October 31, 2014
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