Is Calamari Shellfish – Eating Squid Calamari with a Shellfish Allergy


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If you have a shellfish allergy, you may be wondering, “Is calamari shellfish?” This is a good question to consider, especially if you have itchy and uncomfortable symptoms attached to your shellfish allergy. So, is calamari shellfish? Is fried calamari okay for those with a shellfish allergy?

Is Calamari Shellfish – Eating Squid Calamari With A Shellfish Allergy

Table of Contents

Is Squid Considered Shellfish?

First and foremost, it is important to understand whether or not a squid is considered a shellfish in the first place. To start, know that shellfish are defined in two categories: both mollusks and crustaceans.

Crustaceans are sea creatures such as lobsters, shrimp, barnacles, and others. They have a hard exoskeleton and appendages. Each one is a little different from another. However, if you’ve ever eaten shellfish, you know the mass flavorful appeal that crustacean shellfish bring.

Mollusks, on the other hand, are a bit different. Though still considered shellfish, they are soft-bodied with a hard external shell. Scallops, oysters, and yes, calamari are all considered mollusks.

Is Calamari Shellfish or Fish?

Calamari is a shellfish and not an actual fish. There are many differences between fish and shellfish all of which we won’t get into here.

Still, you can rest assured that squid calamari isn’t the same as your typical fish with gills you’ll find swimming through the sea. Thus, a common seafood allergy in relation to fish may or may not include shellfish allergies.

Is Calamari Shellfish

Is Calamari OK for Shellfish Allergy?

Calamari may or may not be okay for a shellfish allergy. That’s because it depends on how allergic to it you are.

Shellfish allergy symptoms vary from person to person. Like most seafood allergy types, an allergic reaction to specific types of shellfish and the intensity of those reactions will be different depending on how allergic you are.

In some cases, people that are allergic to shellfish of one type may not have allergic reactions to shellfish of another type. To further break this down, it is also observed that some that are allergic to crustacean fish, such as shrimp, won’t also be allergic to mollusk.

But some are.

This confusion can’t simply be explained away. Everybody’s body is different, and thus, the immune system’s response will vary. For the most relevant and tailored information, be sure to ask your allergist for a test if you think you may have certain food allergies. Because some people experience life threatening reactions, it is important that you know what you can and cannot tolerate when eating shellfish.

Can I Eat Calamari If I’m Allergic to Shellfish?

Though it is possible to be allergic to both crustacean shellfish and mollusk shellfish, it is only a small percentage of people who are. Still, if you plan to eat calamari and aren’t sure whether or not you are allergic to only one shellfish or other shellfish as well, you should definitely plan to see a doctor.

On top of that, know that allergies concerning shellfish also work the other way around. By this I mean that if you are allergic to mollusks, you also may be allergic to crustaceans. Again, there’s no way to really know unless you get allergic testing done. Never experiment with this, as doing so may be life threatening.

What Is Shellfish Allergy?

A shellfish allergy occurs when you’re allergic to shellfish. This can get tricky because your body’s immune system may “view” certain organisms as being the same as the shellfish you know you’re allergic to. This is true even if it’s a different type. An example of this might be if you have a squid allergy but also find out that you are allergic to shrimp as well.

All in all, a basic shellfish allergy may indicate that you need to avoid all types of shellfish, even mollusks, especially if you aren’t sure which specific types you’re allergic to. And as we’ve already mentioned, sometimes your body views certain shellfish as the same as other shellfish when they aren’t. This makes it so that eating something like fried squid may send you to the hospital, even though you thought you were only allergic to shrimp.

Thus, it is important to avoid any foods you aren’t sure about and always have allergy testing done if you suspect yourself to have certain seafood allergies.

Is Calamari Shellfish – Eating Squid Calamari With A Shellfish Allergy

Calamari Allergy Symptoms

If you suspect you have calamari or common seafood allergy, it is important to know allergic reaction symptoms so you’ll know how to spot them. Whether you’ve eaten raw squid, partially cooked squid, or squid cooked by another cooking method, you can be sure you’re having an allergic reaction if:

  • Hives appear
  • Swelling of the tongue appears
  • Sudden congestion
  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Anaphylaxis (closing of the throat)
  • Wheezing
  • Difficult breathing

It is important that if you notice these symptoms you seek medical help right away. Know also that some people can become suddenly allergic to shellfish or other food types. Thus, it is imperative that you do not ignore these warning signs if any of them occur.

What To Avoid if You Have a Shellfish Allergy

If you have a shellfish allergy, you may need to avoid all types of shellfish, including all crustaceans and mollusks. There’s a protein in shellfish muscles called tropomyosin that triggers your body’s allergic response. It is this that can cause those icky reactions to occur. Thus, no matter what type and cooking method you do for your shellfish, know that it is best to avoid all shellfish if you can.

Specific types of shellfish that you may need to avoid include:

  • Mussels
  • Crab
  • Crayfish
  • Lobster
  • Squid
  • Oysters
  • Clam
  • Octopus

Note: Not everything on this list must be avoided for someone with a shellfish allergy. Since the severity of shellfish allergic reactions tend to vary from person to person, it can be hard to know which will cause triggers and which won’t. Use this list of potential allergy triggers as a guide, not as a rule.

Is Calamari Shellfish? Yes!

Remember that shellfish come in two categories: mollusk and crustaceans. Though there are many people who may eat calamari with a shellfish allergy and not react, there are some people that will. To know for sure, ask your doctor for specific testing. This can help negate the chances that you accidentally incur allergy symptoms that could send you to the hospital.

I hope this helps answer the question, “Is calamari shellfish?” You can also check out my blog on reheating calamari.

Do you have an allergy to shellfish? Be sure to see your doctor for additional questions!


What is considered shellfish?

Shellfish refers to animals that fall in both the crustacean and mollusks category. These often include shrimp, prawns, octopus, squid, and other aquatic creatures.

Is calamari shellfish or fish?

Calamari is a shellfish. It isn’t considered a fish.

If I’m allergic to shrimp, can I still eat calamari?

It is possible, but not a guarantee. To know for sure, I recommend speaking to your doctor.

How do I know if I’m allergic to seafood?

An allergy to seafood is usually accompanied by hives, itching or swelling of the lips and tongue, dry itchy skin, wheezing, coughing, mucus, congestion, and other undesirable symptoms. If you notice these, be sure to seek medical advice right away.

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