Fish and shellfish allergy

Early childhood services OSHC

Seafood allergy is more common in adults than children and usually remains a lifelong problem. People with seafood allergy are usually allergic to either fish or shellfish, rather than both.

Pan fried fish with vegetables

Allergy action plan

Allergy action plans are recommended to advise staff what to do if a known allergen is ingested. The action plan should be developed with the child’s family and treating team (doctor, allergist, paediatrician) and be approved and signed by a recognised health professional involved in their care.

On enrolment, centres should request written documentation of confirmed allergies from the child’s treating team. Parents should document exactly what their child can and cannot tolerate to avoid confusion and this should be written on the allergy action plan.

Specialised anaphylaxis action plans are essential for children with anaphylactic reactions.

For information about developing an allergy action plan refer to Allergy policy and allergy action plans or the Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy (ASCIA)* website.

Fish allergy

Avoiding fish

Fish allergy can be an allergic reaction to any one or more of the following:

Fish that commonly cause an allergic response

  • Salmon
  • Mackerel
  • Herring
  • Tuna
  • Barramundi
  • Flake
  • Flounder
  • Hake
  • Pilchards
  • Snapper
  • Whiting
  • John Dory
  • Cod
  • Sardines
  • Anchovies
  • Trout
  • Bream
  • Flathead
  • Garfish
  • Orange roughy
  • Shark
  • Sole
  • Whitebait
  • Pike
  • Haddock
  • Perch

Label reading

Check the labels of the following foods, as they may contain fish:

  • Antipasto
  • Marinara sauce
  • Pescatore sauce
  • Dips
  • Fish gelatin
  • Sushi
  • Soups
  • Canned spreads (fish paste)
  • Caesar salad (anchovies)
  • Greek dishes
  • Fish sauce
  • Bouillabaisse
  • Salad dressings (anchovies)
  • Fish stock
  • Caesar salad dressing
  • Worchester sauce
  • Products fortified with omega 3
  • Anything from a fish and chip shop (cooked in oil used to cook fish)

Shellfish allergy

Avoiding shellfish

Shellfish allergy can be an allergic reaction to any one or more of the following:

Shellfish that commonly cause an allergic response

  • Prawns
  • Crayfish
  • Mussels
  • Yabbies
  • Scampi
  • Cockle
  • Crab
  • Shrimp
  • Abalone
  • Octopus
  • Sea snail
  • Sea slugs
  • Marron Oysters
  • Lobster
  • Clams
  • Cuttlefish
  • Scallops
  • Abalone
  • Molluscs
  • Squid
  • Calamari
  • Barnacles
  • Balmain bugs
  • Garden slugs and snails
  • Morton bay bugs

People allergic to shellfish should avoid all seafood in this group but not necessarily fish.

Label reading

Check the labels of the following foods, as they may contain shellfish:

  • Bouillabaisse
  • Prawn crackers
  • Fish stock
  • Seafood extender
  • Squid ink
  • Scampi fries
  • Cuttlefish ink
  • Oyster sauce
  • Fish sauce
  • Marinara sauce
  • Pescatore sauce
  • Pet or fish food
  • Asian soups and dishes
  • Seafood/marinara pizza
  • Seafood flavouring

* The ASCIA website includes personal action plans for allergic reactions and for anaphylaxis. These are medical documents that can only be completed and signed by the patient’s treating medical doctor and cannot be altered without their permission.

References

Dietary Avoidance – Fish Allergy, Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, 2013, http://www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-allergy/ascia-dietary-avoidance-for-food-allergy/fish.

Dietary Avoidance – Shellfish Allergy, Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, 2013, ASCIA https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-allergy/ascia-dietary-avoidance-for-food-allergy

For more information please phone 1300 22 52 88 or email heas@nutritionaustralia.org.au

Except where otherwise indicated, the images in this document show models and illustrative settings only, and do not necessarily depict actual services, facilities or recipients of services. This document may contain images of deceased Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. In this document, ‘Aboriginal’ refers to both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. ‘Indigenous’ or ‘Koori/Koorie’ is retained when part of the title of a report, program or quotation. Copyright © State of Victoria 2016

Written and reviewed by dietitians and nutritionists at Nutrition Australia, with support from the Victorian Government.

Nutrition Australia and Victoria State Government logos

Featured Recipes

Explore all recipes
Early childhood services OSHC
Vegetable lentil soup
NF EF DF VG V SF
Early childhood services OSHC
Zucchini and spinach tots
VG NF GF
Early childhood services OSHC
Pizza with herbs from the garden
SF NF EF
Early childhood services
Beef tre carne
VG NF EF DF
Early childhood services
Chicken alfredo pasta
VG SF NF EF DF
Early childhood services
Vegan Dahl with Indigenous herbs
VG V NF EF DF

Want to assess your menu?

FoodChecker - opens in a new tab