Allergic to shellfish? We call it a double whammy, since in addition to not being able to eat the wonders of the ocean such as shrimps, crabs, lobsters, and other delicacies, you won’t be able to eat insects either. It breaks our hearts to tell you this but… you are therefore allergic to edible insects (in most cases)!
Allergy to edible insects, why?
You may (or may not) know that insects belong to the large family of arthropods. In this happy family we find the insects, the arachnids (of which the spiders are a part that we appreciate so much), but also the crustaceans! And as close cousins, insects and crustaceans share a common allergen: chitin, a molecule from the carbohydrate family that makes up a large part of the exoskeleton of insects and the shells of shrimps, crabs and other lobsters and can cause inflammation in sensitive people.
As you will have understood, it is better to be cautious, which is why we use the words “Allergens to shellfish and/or mites” on all our packaging and communicate regularly on the subject.
Different degrees of insect allergies
Today it is estimated that between 1 and 2% of the population is allergic to shellfish, with varying degrees of allergic reactions ranging from simple itching to swelling and sometimes even angioedema. The best thing to do when in doubt is not to eat insects if you think you may be allergic to shellfish, and to avoid feeding insects to allergic friends at a meal or party.
I ate an insect and I am allergic, what should I do?
The first thing to do is not to panic. This may be the first time you have eaten an insect and allergic reactions are not systematic. If you are highly allergic to shellfish you may have a treatment that can be used preventively, you can never be too careful. The onset of an allergic reaction also depends on the quantities consumed, so if you have just eaten a whole box of molitor and do not have a treatment with you, we advise you to go to a pharmacy to get a treatment. If you have a strong reaction (oedema), don’t take any risks and call the emergency room without delay.
As you can see, at JIMINI’S, we don’t joke about food allergies, so if in doubt, stick to crisps and peanuts and consult your doctor!