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Food-Info.net> Topics > Food allergies and intolerances > Shellfish > Molluscs

Squid allergy

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Information provided in co-operation with the Informall project.

Squid are a type of octopus, also known as calamare or calamari. They are normally eaten cooked or fried. Consumption varies greatly between regions with high consumption in Spain and in Japan . There are over 300 species of squid, but only a few species are widely consumed.

Squid allergy

Allergy to molluscs such as squid is less common than allergy to shrimps (crustaceans). Although squid has no shell it is related to shellfish such as clams and mussels. As with most food allergies, symptoms are usually mild such as oral allergy syndrome but severe symptoms such as anaphylactic shock can also occur after consumption. Note that squid are not currently listed in annex IIIa of the EU directive on labelling of foods and thus individuals allergic to squid must be alert to the possibility of squid or other molluscs as hidden allergens.

Squid are a type of mollusc called a cephalopod and thus allergy to squid is associated with allergy to other cephalopods such as cuttlefish or octopus. Reaction is also likely after ingestion of more distantly related shellfish (molluscs) such as limpet, snails, winkles and whelks or clams, mussels, oysters and scallops. Thus after a diagnosis of allergy to one mollusc, patients are normally advised to avoid all molluscs. Whilst most individuals with allergy to shrimps (crustacea) can tolerate molluscs, individuals with allergy to both types of shellfish have been reported. However, individuals allergic to finfish (such as cod or salmon) do not generally have allergies to shellfish.

The main allergenic protein in squid is Tod p1.

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