About Allergies


Includes: fish, crustaceans, molluscs, shellfish

Quick Facts

  • Seafood is considered a Priority Allergen by Health Canada.
  • For regulatory purposes, Health Canada uses the following terms to describe seafood: fish (e.g., trout, salmon), and crustaceans (e.g., lobster, shrimp) and molluscs (e.g., scallops, clams), sometimes referred to as shellfish.

Be Allergy-Aware

  • Read ingredient labels every time you buy or eat a product.
  • Do The Triple Check and read the label:
    • Once at the store before buying it.
    • Once when you get home and put it away.
    • Again before you serve or eat the product.
  • Always carry your epinephrine auto-injector.
  • For tips on eating out, visit our guide for dining out with food allergies.
  • Chopped fish products (such as canned tuna) have a high risk for being contaminated with many other types of fish during processing.
  • Check with manufacturers directly to see if the product is safe for you even if your allergen is not listed on the ingredient list.
  • Be careful when buying products from abroad since labelling rules differ from country to country.

Other Names for fish

  • Anchovy
  • Bass
  • Bluefish
  • Bream
  • Carp
  • Catfish (channel cat, mud cat)
  • Char
  • Chub
  • Cisco
  • Cod
  • Eel
  • Flounder
  • Grouper
  • Haddock
  • Hake
  • Halibut
  • Herring
  • Mackerel
  • Mahi-mahi
  • Marlin
  • Monkfish (angler fish, lotte)
  • Orange roughy
  • Perch
  • Pickerel (dore, walleye)
  • Pike
  • Plaice
  • Pollock
  • Pompano
  • Porgy
  • Rockfish
  • Salmon
  • Sardine
  • Shark
  • Smelt
  • Snapper
  • Sole
  • Sturgeon
  • Swordfish
  • Tilapia (St. Peter’s fish)
  • Trout
  • Tuna (albacore, bonito)
  • Turbot
  • White fish
  • Whiting

Possible sources of fish

  • Deli meats
  • Dips, spreads, imitation crab/lobster meat
  • Ethnic foods such as fried rice, paella, spring rolls
  • Fish mixtures
  • Garnishes
  • Gelatin, marshmallows
  • Hot dogs
  • Pizza toppings
  • Salad dressings
  • Sauces
  • Soups
  • Sushi
  • Tarama (roe)
  • Wine and beer (used as a fining agent)

Non-food sources of fish

  • Fish food
  • Lip balm/lip gloss
  • Pet food
  • Compost or fertilizers

Other names for crustaceans and molluscs

  • Abalone
  • Clam
  • Crab
  • Crayfish (crawfish, écrivisse)
  • Cockle
  • Conch
  • Limpets
  • Lobster (langouste, langoustine, coral, tomalley)
  • Mussels
  • Octopus
  • Oysters
  • Periwinkle
  • Prawns
  • Quahaugs
  • Scallops
  • Shrimp (crevette)
  • Snails (escargot)
  • Squid (calamari)
  • Whelks

Other examples of seafood

  • Caviar and roe (unfertilized fish eggs)
  • Ceviche
  • Gravad Lax
  • Kamaboko (imitation crab and lobster meat)
  • Lox
  • Minced fillets
  • Sashimi
  • Scrod
  • Surimi (used to make imitation crab and lobster meat)
  • Sushi
  • Tarama (salted carp roe)

To Report a Reaction

If you believe you may have reacted to an allergen not listed on the packaging, you can report it to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, which may issue a product recall. Find out more on our Food Labelling page.

Download a printable PDF of this page.