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Jun 22, 2012 12:11 PM

Scallops & bad reaction

When I was a very young kid scallops were one of my favorite foods. Then I got severely sick from them on two occasions and concluded I was allergic and stopped eating them. My dad also thought he was allergic to scallops.

Then I read somewhere that one can get really sick from undercooked scallops. Wondering if that was the real issue (because I can eat any other type of shellfish), I purchased one scallop, cooked it well done, ate it and was fine! Then last weekend I got a pu pu platter with scallops and was able to eat them without problem, too. So I plan to continue eating them, barring any problems.

Just wondering if anyone has any insight on this? I guess I'm wondering if maybe I'm unusually sensitive to lightly cooked scallops, which would mean avoiding them when eating out.

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  1. It certainly is possible. Another possibility is that the scallops were bad. They tend to go bad very quickly and can wreak havoc on your digestive system.

    1. If your bad reaction was of a gastrointestinal nature then I agree with Raytamsgv that the source was that the scallops were past their prime and you got a bacterial or viral infection. Many years ago, I had the same experience -- both my mother and I got ill after having had a home-cooked meal of scallops, which we concluded had gone bad. It's never happened to me before or since. (Undercooking the scallops might contribute to the problem as they don't cook thoroughly enough to kill the bugs. But, as a practical matter, scallops get tough if you cook them more than a few minutes, so I doubt that even thoroughly cooking scallops would suffice to kill such bacteria, unless you overcooked them.)

      1. I've eaten our local scallops raw on plenty of occasions and never got sick. I mean, you only cook them for a minute or two anyway, so it would be hard to "undercook" them. But as far as sensitivity, just go to your ENT and get tested, then you'll know for sure. But allergies can come and go, maybe yours was just temporary.

        1. You can also get a reaction from something that the shellfish were feeding on. This happens to a lot of people with shrimp. Something in the water that the shellfish were feeding on was the ultimate cause, but unfortunately you really can't find that out without consuming the shellfish.

          1. I had the exact same problem. As a kid I loved them then in my early twenties I had a horrible reaction. I went back gradually in my 40s and haven't had a problem in years. Who knows why, I just figured I grew out of it.