FDA reminds people not to eat giant bugs if they’re allergic to seafood

Brittany A. Roston - Jun 3, 2021, 6:12pm CDT
FDA reminds people not to eat giant bugs if they’re allergic to seafood

You’ve probably heard lobster and shrimp referred to as the ‘bugs’ of the ocean and a new advisory from the Food and Drug Administration aims to underscore that point. Now that summer is approaching, the FDA has reminded the public not to eat cicadas — the big, noisy insects that keep you up at night — if you’re allergic to seafood.

Cicadas are winged insects that come in a huge variety, including ones that are fairly small in size and some that are quite large. These insects aren’t harmful, but they are noisy and can cause quite the annoying ruckus during their breeding season in the early summer. Depending on where you live, these bugs may also be found in large quantities and, well, they may also be a tasty delicacy.

Though insects aren’t a popular food item in the US, there are some exceptions: crickets, for example, are still consumed as a snack in some parts of the nation. Cicadas are another type of insect that you may come across as a food item; they may be served deep-fried, as a sweet treat, or as an ingredient in a larger dish.

The FDA noted in a new tweet that cicadas have a ‘family relation’ to lobsters and shrimp, meaning you should avoid eating them if you’re allergic to seafood. These insects may cause the same allergic reaction you’d experience when eating shrimp, for example, which would definitely ruin the dining experience.

Fortunately, if you are allergic to seafood, it’s not hard to avoid cicadas — in fact, you’d have to go out of your way to find a place that serves them. However, the knowledge is good to have as scientists increasingly urge the public to embrace insects as a protein source that is better for the environment.


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