Allergic to insects

God, if you’re allergic to insects it’s like a double punishment! Firstly you’re not able to eat the wonders of the ocean such as prawns, crabs, lobsters and other delights, which then in most cases means you can’t even eat insects as you will also be allergic.

Why are you allergic to edible insects?

You may know that insects are part of the big family of arthropods. In this diverse family we find the insects, arachnids (which includes spiders that we love so much) and also the crustaceans! As close cousins, insects and crustaceans share the same allergen: chitin. The chitin is a characteristic component of the cell walls of fungi, the exoskeletons of insects and the shell of prawns, crabs and lobsters which can cause inflammation for people with an allergy. You got it, it’s better to be careful, that’s why we quote  “same allergen as crustaceans” on every one of our packs as well as constant reminders on all our literature.

Several degrees of allergies to insects

Between 1% and 2% of the population would be allergic to crustaceans with various degrees of allergic reaction ranging from mild itching to swelling. The best option is not to eat insects if you have any doubt about if you may be allergic or also those of your friends.

I ate an insects and I’m allergic, what do I have to do?

The first thing to do is to stay calm. It may be the first time you eat an insect and the allergic reactions are not systematic. If you’re highly allergic to crustaceans, you may already have a treatment that you can use in prevention. Allergic reactions vary on the quantities consumed, so if you just eaten a full box of Mealworms and you don’t have a treatment, we recommend for you to go to your local pharmacy to purchase a treatment. In case of a severe reaction, it is better to play it safe and call an emergency number right away!

So there you go, we don’t joke about allergens. In case of any doubt, stay with you crisps and your peanuts (unless of course you also have a nut allergy then avoid!).