Talking Allergies

Reacting to some fish but not others?
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Author:  Alison's Mom [ Mon Oct 12, 2009 12:29 am ]
Post subject:  Reacting to some fish but not others?

My DS who is 3 loves salmon and has eaten it quite often with no problems at all (fresh, not canned). He has also eaten other types of fish, including sablefish and probably halibut. Tonight, I gave him a piece of imitation crab meat, which is likely made of pollack, and he had a reaction with hives and vomiting. I know that the imitation crab meat is processed and contains red food colouring, and could be cross contaminated with real crab meat, or other substances. I'm trying to pinpoint the allergy - whether it's the actual pollack, some sort of processing agent, or cross contamination. I'm 99% sure he's had red food colouring with no reaction, but I guess there could be different types? I honestly can't remember if we have given him shellfish or mollusks, as it's not something we eat often, but I don't think we have. Anyone have experience or info on this?

For what it's worth, I have personally had 3 reactions to fish/shellfish in my life, too, but with many many other times where I've eaten it with no incident. I seem to react when I've had shellfish, then a few days later, regular fish, and it's the combination or just too much of it in my system?

Author:  BC2007 [ Mon Oct 12, 2009 3:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacting to some fish but not others?

I know the imitation crab we buy has egg in it, could that be the problem?

Author:  Alison's Mom [ Mon Oct 12, 2009 11:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacting to some fish but not others?

Thanks so much for that. I'm really really hoping it was egg, as that's something he was already allergic to, and hopefully we don't have to avoid fish, shellfish, or red food colouring!

Author:  BC2007 [ Tue Oct 13, 2009 9:37 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacting to some fish but not others?

I found this on the processing of imitation crabmeat. I'm sure each company has slightly different practices but hopefully this helps.

The processing of imitation crabmeat begins with the skinning and boning of the fish. Then the meat is minced and rinsed, and the water is leached out. This creates a thick paste called surimi. The word means "minced fish" in Japanese, and the essential techniques for making it were developed in Japan over 800 years ago. Surimi is commonly used in Japan to make a type of fish ball or cake called kamaboko. In 1975, a method for processing imitation crabmeat from surimi was invented in Japan, and in 1983, American companies started production.

Many ingredients are added to the surimi to give it a stable form, appealing texture, and crab-like flavor. Sugar, sorbitol, wheat or tapioca starch, egg whites, and vegetable or soybean oil can all help improve the form of the surimi. Natural and artificial crab flavorings are added, and some of these flavorings are made from real crab or from boiled shells. Carmine, caramel, paprika, and annatto extract are often used to make the crab's red, orange, or pink coloring. Imitation crab is cooked, which helps set the surimi and give it the final texture and appearance. Nutritionally speaking, surimi is not that different from real crab, although it is lower in cholesterol.

Author:  Alison's Mom [ Mon Oct 19, 2009 5:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacting to some fish but not others?

Thanks so much. I googled it and also found two websites with ingredient information that both mentioned egg or egg white. I am certain that is what the reaction was all about. I also mentioned it to our allergist (whom we went to see for my DD's sesame reaction) who was surprised that imitation crab meat has egg!

Author:  Bon [ Sun Oct 25, 2009 1:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacting to some fish but not others?

Please look carefully at the possibility of sulfite allergy. Fish and fish products are often packed in metabisulfites on the boat, at the dock and in the cannery as a preservative. Lack of marking is pervasive. Seafood from overseas and seafood caught in hot weather is particularly suspect. Your child's symptoms are highly typical of sulfite reaction. It took me many years in the 1980s to figure out that my "seafood" allergy was from the unmarked sulfites.

Author:  Alison's Mom [ Wed Oct 28, 2009 12:35 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Reacting to some fish but not others?

Thanks. From what little I know about sulphite allergies, I don't think he is because he regularly eats other foods containing sulphites with no incidence. I'll watch out for it, though. I'm 99.9% sure it was the egg.

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