Fish-free: all about fish

Sticking closely to my previous under-watery theme, let’s take a look at fish…. What are the challenges of fish-free living?

Apparently, 40% of fish allergy sufferers report being able to eat fish as a child. The majority of all allergies come on (and sometimes disappear) in childhood. This might make it a challenge for those who are caught unawares but it’s probably easier to understand what to avoid as an adult.

The EU legislation just refers to “fish” as  a whole and it does appear that allergies across the group are common. In addition cross contamination risks seem fairly high. So the recommendation from the Anaphylaxis Camapign is to avoid all fish if you have an allergy to one.

Shellfish and fish allergies are sometimes lumped together, but not always. They’re biologically different so it’s likely to be bad luck, rather than a cross-sensitivity, if you do have allergies to both.

Beers and wines are sometimes filtered using fish guts, but I don’t know how much of a risk this poses for allergy sufferers.  Drinks are not subject to allergen-labelling requirements in the same way as food, and so with drinks usually unlabelled, maybe it’s best seeking out vegan options to be on the safe side (but don’t get me started on the sulphur dioxide issue). Other unusual places to watch out for the presence of fish include Worcestershire sauce, and Caesar salad dressing.


Thanks for reading this part of my series on the top 14 allergens. To find out what I’ve learnt about the other 13 please head to the blog series home.

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