With Maryland’s most popular food items coming from our beloved Chesapeake Bay, we tend to eat a lot of seafood, especially shellfish. Shellfish includes that delicious, beautiful swimmer that we love to steam up and put into crab cakes, the blue crab. Shellfish also consists of all other varieties of crab, as well as shrimp, lobster, mussels, clams, oysters, and scallops, among others. Unfortunately, shellfish is a food that people can be allergic too. While that, unfortunately, means you can’t enjoy many of Maryland’s signature dishes, it is something you can manage.
Watch What You Eat
The first step to managing any allergy, including a shellfish allergy, is to learn to read labels. You must be consistent in reading every single ingredient on the label, and it is essential to know what other names your allergen might have. Fortunately, shellfish is not usually a hidden ingredient, though if a food has a seafood broth or base, it most likely does have shellfish. Even something that sounds generic, like fish broth or seafood flavoring, could have shellfish in it. Crustacean shellfish – crabs, lobsters, shrimp – fall under the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004, so they must be clearly labeled on the packaging.
Be Cautious When Dining Out
When you have an allergy, dining out poses a higher risk than eating at home. You should alert your server to the allergy, but be aware that they may not know all of the ingredients of every dish. Even if they check the ingredients, they may not realize that ‘fish broth’ could potentially trigger your allergy. There is also a risk of cross-contamination if shellfish is being prepared in the same kitchen. If your allergy is very severe, even being in the area where it is being made could expose you to the proteins in the air and trigger a reaction.
Know What To Do
Once your doctor determines that you have a shellfish allergy, he or she may prescribe you a rescue dose of epinephrine, often the EpiPen brand. It’s vital that you know how to administer it. If your child has the allergy, you and they should both Nannie what to do (if they’re old enough), as should any other caregivers. While you should do your best to avoid contact with shellfish, it’s essential to know what to do if you do get exposed. The likelihood is that you will have this allergy for your entire life since shellfish is not usually one that people grow out of.
YOUR SEAFOOD DESTINATION
Costas Inn has been a Baltimore tradition since 1971. You may recognize our restaurant, which was recently featured on the Food Network with Michael Symon on Burgers, Brew, and ‘Que! We were also voted the 2015 #1 Baltimore Seafood Restaurant by USA Today, as well as #1 Crab Restaurant 2014 in the Baltimore Business Journal. You may have also spotted Costas Inn during one of our 9 appearances on the Today Show or heard one of our many interviews on WJZ TV Channel 13 with Ron Matz and Marty Bass.
You can enjoy our famous crab cakes in-house or order them online for any time eating. We also provide some of the best seafood catering in the Baltimore area! You can also get your fill from Costas even when you’re not in our dining room: follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube!