What is a Fish Allergy?

Published on Saturday, 23 June 2012 16:55

fish allergy occurs when a person’s immune system reacts to the proteins in a particular fish. This type of allergy is most often a severe allergy and can be life threatening. It is more common in adults, and is less likely to be outgrown. People who are allergic to one type of fish are likely to develop an allergy to other fish.

Fish allergy is an allergic reaction to the proteins in finned fish such as: cod, mackerel, tuna or salmon. Some people can tolerate canned tuna or salmon because the proteins change if they are processed and canned.

A fish allergy is often mistaken for an allergy to the parasite Anisakis.  Consider being tested for this parasite if you have a reaction to fish but your allergy test is negative. After cooking or freezing food this parasite is killed; however, it can still cause a serious allergic reaction.  Avoid all fish or shellfish if you are allergic to Anisakis.

It is possible to be allergic to one type of fish or shellfish and not to others; for example, you can be allergic to crustaceans such as shrimp and lobster, but not to mollusks such as oysters or clams.