South Beach Seafood Week       |       October 20 - 23, 2021       |       Miami Beach, Florida

Everything You Need to Know About Seafood Allergies at South Florida’s Seafood Festival

The South Beach Seafood Festival spans an action-packed 5 days with culinary demonstrations, live music, games, beautiful views, an open bar, and of course, seafood. If you’d like to read more about why you should attend and what to look forward to, check out our other blog posts or browse the schedule of events here or here.

We invite everyone to attend and truly believe there is something to be enjoyed for anyone, but we understand that some may have their reservations. Specifically, those with allergies to shellfish. But not to worry, this event is still accessible to those of you who cannot take part in the actual eating. Some examples include:

  1. Open bar
  2. Live music
  3. Culinary demonstrations
  4. Socializing on the beach
  5. Life-size games (think “human chessboard”)
  6. DESSERT. Last year featured ice cream sammies from Wynwood Parlor, so keep an eye out for participating restaurants to see what you can look forward to. (Besides, less seafood means more room for sweets).

We would also like to remind all guests of the dangers of allergies. With the presence of food allergies on the rise across the world, everyone needs to be aware of signs, symptoms, and necessary actions to recognize and treat allergic reactions. It is also important to note that some people who have never shown signs of an allergy in the past can still develop them to any food and at any point in life, so we want everyone to be educated and look out for each other.

Signs of an allergic reaction:

  1. Hives: Red, itchy bumps typically presenting on the face (but could show up anywhere on the body). General itching or other forms of rashes may occur.
  2. Mouth symptoms: These may include itchy/dry mouth, tingling, and a painful or swollen tongue.
  3. Respiratory symptoms: Chest pain, sneezing, congestion, trouble breathing, or wheezing. Swollen throat or even nasal passages are common.
  4. Lightheadedness, dizziness, or fainting.
  5. Gastrointestinal symptoms: Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting.
  6. Swelling of the: Face, mouth, throat, lips, tongue, ears, fingers, or hands.

If you witness someone at the Seafood Festival exhibiting these symptoms, here are some steps you can take:

  1. Remain calm and contact festival staff for assistance.
  2. Take an antihistamine such as Benadryl.
  3. If they are already aware they have an allergy, follow their treatment plan. This may include taking Benadryl first and waiting to see if the reaction escalates. Others may need to use the EpiPen right away.
  4. If an EpiPen is necessary and they cannot self-administer, read the directions and administer the epinephrine. This is simply adrenaline that helps treat the reaction.
  5. If the EpiPen is administered, call 911. Patients must be monitored to ensure the reaction does not recur and that the adrenaline does not cause cardiac problems.

If any symptoms are severe (such as rapid swelling of tongue or throat that could lead to suffocation, extreme chest or stomach pain, etc.) administer an EpiPen and go to the hospital. If two or more symptoms are occurring simultaneously in different body systems (ex: skin symptoms + respiratory symptoms), an EpiPen is almost always necessary. Take action to seek treatment.

It is important to note that not all allergic reactions lead to anaphylaxis (a reaction so severe it can result in death), but that all reactions should be treated with caution. If you have never experienced an allergic reaction before but exhibit any of these symptoms after consuming something, schedule an appointment with an allergist as soon as possible to be tested.

We would like to once again remind everyone that allergies should not be taken lightly and that many food allergies can result in death if left untreated. It is our aim that everyone has an amazing experience at the South Beach Seafood Festival, and we can ensure this by making sure everyone stays safe. Seafood allergy or not, all are welcome and we hope you will join us for an unforgettable experience.

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