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Shellfish-Free Guide

Always read ingredients and check with the manufacturer if you are not sure if something contains shellfish, and avoid the food until you are sure.

Foods or ingredients that definitely are or contain shellfish:

Shellfish – all types*, such as

  • abalone
  • clam: cherrystone, littleneck, pismo, quahog
  • crab
  • crawfish, crayfish, ecrevisse
  • lobster, langouste, langoustine, scampi, coral, tomalley
  • mussels
  • oyster
  • scallops
  • mollusks
  • shrimp, prawns, crevette
  • cockle, periwinkle, sea urchin
  • octopus, squid, calamari
  • snails, escargot

*work with your doctor to determine if all types should be avoided

Ingredients that may contain shellfish:

  • Natural and artificial flavoring
  • Seafood flavoring
  • Surimi (imitation crabmeat)
  • Fish stock, bouillabaisse

Things to watch out for:

  • Seafood restaurants – high risk of contamination from food prep areas, utensils, cooking surfaces and in the air
  • Asian food
  • Fried foods if cooked in the same oil as shellfish (such as fried calamari)

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA), mandates that foods labeled on or after January 2006 must declare shellfish in plain language either on the ingredient list or by using the words “Contains” and then the specific shellfish that is used. Foods that were labeled before January 2006 are not subject to this law, so read ingredients carefully.

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