Tips for Life With a Seafood Allergy

Medically Reviewed by Carol DerSarkissian, MD on November 02, 2022
2 min read

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

These foods may contain anchovies:

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

Other foods that have seafood:

  • Caviar and fish roe (fish eggs)
  • Artificial fish like surimi, an imitation crabmeat sometimes used in sushi
  • Fish sauce, oils, and gelatin
  • Certain brands of eggs, yogurt, juices, milk, and soy beverages fortified with omega-3 fatty acids.



  • Stay out of seafood restaurants. Even if you order beef, bits of seafood from a shared spatula, cooking oil, or grill can get in your food. 
  • In any restaurant, let your server know about your allergy and ask that the kitchen staff use separate utensils and work surfaces to make your food. Cross-contact can happen anywhere that uses a lot of fish or shellfish ingredients.
  • Don't shop for or cook seafood. Let someone else do it. You may have a reaction just from touching it or being in an area where someone is cooking it.
  • Ask your doctor if any fish or shellfish is safe to eat. Don't try out any kinds on your own, though. That could cause severe allergic reactions.
  • Ask your doctor whether it’s safe for you to take fish oil supplements. You can also find those good-for-you omega-3 fatty acids in other places. Leafy green vegetables, walnuts, flaxseed oil, soy oil, canola oil and microalgae (spirulina) are good options. 
  • Read labels. Other foods -- as well as lotions, cosmetics, and medicine -- may have fish in them.