An allergy to mollusc is an immune system response to the proteins in the mollusc.
Molluscs are invertebrates and include sea snails (whelk), oysters, clams, scallop, octopus and squid, abalone, mussel, pipis and cockles.
A seafood allergy affects about 1% of the population. It is often life long and is more common in adults than children.
People who are allergic to mollusc can usually tolerate finned fish but care must be taken because of the real risk of cross contamination in storage, preparation and cooking of the seafood.
Occasionally people with mollusc allergy have breathing difficulties if they are in the same enclosed space when molluscs are being cooked. Most people who have a mollusc allergy are advised to not have that food cooked in their home because of the risk of the smell triggering a serious allergic reaction.
Two new printable/downloadable versions of food allergen cards are available:
Mollusc allergen card233.59 KB (A4 sized - perfect for downloading and viewing on your device)
Mollusc allergen card122.94 KB (print then trim to wallet size - perfect for when shopping or eating out)
You can also purchase printed food allergen cards from our online shop.
To make eating out a little easier, A&AA has developed a chef card. You can write or print your allergens on the card. When telling the wait staff at a cafe or restaurant about your allergies, hand over your chef card and ask for it to come back with your specially prepared meal. You can also obtain chef cards from our online shop.
More information on mollusc allergy is available from the ASCIA website.
Content updated October 2021