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Shellfish Allergies And Straws?

Shellfish Allergies And Straws?

“Are you Allergic to Shellfish”? The bar lady from the Old Spring Well Harrogate asked me! Why did she ask me this question? Something many of you may not know, with a ban on plastic straws coming in, this has led to a number of biodegradable resources being used in straws instead. Businesses should be warning customers that their new straws may contain discarded sea shells, known as chitosan. Therefore they are NOT suitable for vegans, vegetarians or a persons with seafood allergies.

Shellfish allergies and straws

So what is chitosan? 

Chitosan is a polymer that is made by modifying chitin – a major component of the exoskeletons of arthropods, the cell walls of fungi, and the shells of shellfish (crustaceans)

It’s entirely naturally occurring, hence it is also renewable.

The chitin used in chitosan products is sourced from the crushed up shells of various aquatic creatures, which would normally be considered as a waste product of the fishing industry.

This means that animals could potentially have been harmed in the making of these straws, potentially making them unsuitable for vegetarians and Vegan as well. Because they are sourced from “shellfish”, these straws are unsuitable for various religious dietary codes that forbid the usage of such animals.

Studies show that reactions to people with shellfish allergies to chitosan, they pretty much all show that they had no reaction to them. However caution must be taken, as while the actual risk of them triggering an allergic reaction is quite low, it is always better to be safe than sorry.

So as you can imagine I was pleased when they asked me this, as this is the first time since the ban of plastic straws was discussed someone has actually asked me! luckily I know being an Anaphylactic and an Allergy trainer, but so many have no idea, as it’s so new. I hope more businesses follow suite! Well done The Old Spring Well.  Please share and get the word out there for other allergy sufferers

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