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Room For Improvement:BlueWater Seafoods -- allergic reaction
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Author:  Andrea_MASG [ Sat Jan 11, 2014 7:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Room For Improvement:BlueWater Seafoods -- allergic reaction

Hi, everyone.

I like giving credit where credit is due when food companies do well. Unfortunately, I recently had a severe allergic reaction to a frozen fish product (Roasted Garlic and Herb Tilapia) from BlueWater Seafoods (Canada), and the company's response was not what I expected.

My allergies are peanut, tree nut, sesame, and egg.

First of all, I called them after the reaction to report it, and it took days for them to get back to me. To be fair to the company, this was around the holiday season, but it was also a severe reaction. I had the EpiPen out and ready to inject. There was, thank goodness, no asthma triggered, which is what led me to hold off on injecting, but If I ever have an allergic reaction like this again, I will definitely auto-inject and head to the hospital. (I know better!) However, I had taken Benadryl, and after I was sick to my stomach (with other details that I'd rather not post here), I fell asleep for hours.

When BlueWater finally did call back, I was asked questions about whether I was allergic to anything listed in the product ingredients, and I had to make it clear that I am not allergic to fish, nor am I allergic to dairy, which is a 'may contain'. Although it is technically *possible* that a tilapia allergy has suddenly developed, I've eaten it in the past with no problem. I had, in fact, eaten tilapia just a month earlier.

I was then told that there would be follow up, which there was, just this week. I was then informed that they would not be doing any testing of the lot of fish I'd eaten as it wasn't necessary since they already had a good allergy protocol in place. I asked about second generation ingredients such as the spices, which could have potentially been cross-contaminated, and was again told that everything was deemed safe. This, without follow-up testing. :dungetit

I replied that this wasn't acceptable, and the customer service agent replied that she would relay my comments.

And that was it.

Not that we would use them now, but we were also offered coupons. (I didn't request them; they offered, and I said that my husband might use them.) Never received. [Edited to add: They've now been received.]

I make no further comment about this except to say that I will not personally be consuming their products in future. A shame too. I still have six or seven boxes of their frozen fish in our freezer.

Although we have no sample on hand, I've saved the box and will be in touch with the CFIA for follow-up.

Author:  Becky [ Sun Jan 12, 2014 7:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Room For Improvement:BlueWater Seafoods -- allergic reac

That's very disappointing. Please let us know what happens with the CFIA. Glad you're ok though!

Author:  gwentheeditor [ Wed Jan 15, 2014 12:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Room For Improvement:BlueWater Seafoods -- allergic reac

Andrea, first very sorry to hear about the reaction. And a slight nag: use the darn epi!

I find it highly disappointing that the company didn't want to follow up with testing. Let us know what happens with CFIA.

Author:  Andrea_MASG [ Wed Jan 15, 2014 7:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Room For Improvement:BlueWater Seafoods -- allergic reac

Thanks, Gwen. I'll keep this item posted.

I absolutely knew better. I've injected the Epi several times before, and this was certainly a time that called for it. :oops:

Author:  gwentheeditor [ Wed Jan 15, 2014 9:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Room For Improvement:BlueWater Seafoods -- allergic reac

I've finally got myself to a point that I will use the auto-injector without overthinking it.

How odd the brain is. It's so common to think at the start of a food reaction: 'don't want to over-react, this may not be the big one'.

Truth is, we need to stop ourselves from "under-reacting".

Author:  Andrea_MASG [ Fri Jan 17, 2014 5:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Room For Improvement:BlueWater Seafoods -- allergic reac

gwentheeditor wrote:
I've finally got myself to a point that I will use the auto-injector without overthinking it.

How odd the brain is. It's so common to think at the start of a food reaction: 'don't want to over-react, this may not be the big one'.

Truth is, we need to stop ourselves from "under-reacting".


I agree. That's exactly it. I was thinking -- "Oh, well, there's no breathing involvement. Two organ systems, but how bad is this, really? Let's monitor. Does it really call for the Epi?" I always advise others to err on the side of caution and inject. If my daughter reacted in the same way, I would have injected her without hesitation. The brain truly is funny.

The CFIA is, apparently, going to have to coordinate with Quebec, where the company is located. This could take a while. Another possibility, of course, is high histamine levels in the fish. I imagine they'll be looking into these possibilities.

Have a good weekend.

Andrea

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