Something’s fishy - dealing with a fish allergy

There are 14 food allergens that people can be allergic to. Fish is one of those 14 allergens, while it is lesser known than the likes of gluten or nut allergies it isn’t any less deadly. Globally there are more than 250 million people who suffer from a food allergy. That is roughly over 3% of adults, and up to 6% of children.

One of the main things we often hear people asking is how do the allergens differ? This blog concludes the last in our recent series where we look at the differences of each allergen and what makes them tick.

What is a fish allergy? 

Like all other allergies, a fish allergy is an allergic reaction to consuming fish. An allergic reaction occurs when the body comes into contact with a particular protein and deems it harmful to the body. Your body then produces antibodies (histamines) to combat this “harmful protein”. 

How do I know if I am allergic to fish? 

Fish allergies are just as easy to determine, if after consuming fish you find the following symptoms it is most likely you have an allergy. 

  • Swelling of the throat and/or tongue

  • Rash/red raised skin 

  • Difficulty breathing 

  • Itchy/irritation 

If you suffer from any of the above reactions after consuming fish please speak to your GP. If symptoms are severe please visit A&E for immediate care. 

What types of fish can you be allergic to?

Not all fish are safe to eat, so the various types of fish you can be allergic to are narrower. There are many that you may have a reaction to, including but not limited to Anchovy, bass, cod, cuttlefish, eel, flounder, grouper, haddock, hake, halibut, mackerel, monkfish, perch, pike, pilchards, plaice, pollock, salmon, sardine, sea bass, sea bream, snapper, swordfish, trout, tuna, turbot, whitebait, whiting, tilapia.


Is there a difference between an allergy and a sensitivity?

There is one main difference between an allergy and a sensitivity. An allergy is more severe and requires medication to subdue the symptoms of your allergic reaction. Sensitivity is milder and most can consume small amounts of a particular allergen over a period of time with little or no reaction. 

How can I manage my fish allergy?

Speaking to your doctor will enable you to understand the severity of your allergy. If you are extremely allergic to fish you should avoid consuming anything that contains it at all costs. Your doctor should prescribe you some form of medication, such as an epi-pen in case of emergency.

If you are only sensitive to fish you may find that consuming small amounts will not cause any discomfort. However, be on the side of caution and make sure to keep a check on any symptoms you may be experiencing.

Dealing with an allergy is no easy feat, making sure you speak with your doctor about your symptoms and the best course of action is important. The information provided in this blog series is purely informational and each person's circumstances and experiences may differ from what has been listed. For any concerns please contact your GP to discuss any allergies you may have.

To help manage your menus and keep track of allergens, contact us now to discover our allergen management system. 

The information provided in this blog is purely informational. Please speak to your GP for further information on any concerns you have regarding allergies. Sources for information are: