Oysters with Pearls Opening at Home

Has anyone had experience in developing a severe allergic reaction to opening fresh water oysters in vacuum sealed bags with colored pearls?    I have severe allergies to peanuts and sesame.    I am also allergic to soy.    Last night I opened oysters with my kids at home as something fun to do and I would up in the hospital with a very severe allergic reaction.  Have no idea what fluid they were in.   Have read online they could be in formaldehyde.   But no clue.  Looking for any information if something similar has happened to anyone else.   Thanks in advance. 



Comments 10

  • Kathy P

    Yikes! Not a fun way to end up! I've never heard of getting pearl oysters like that. Is there any information about the manufacturer to be able to contact them? 

  • TJHOLT2016

    So far no luck…  I ordered through Amazon, Amazon shipped them.   It seems like seller is out of country.  I have contacted them but not heard anything.  No ingredients were listed.  I feel so stupid for not even considering this possible outcome.

  • Kathy P

    Don't beat yourself up! Obviously, it would be a bad idea if you were allergic to shellfish, but other than that, you'd think it shouldn't be an issue. It's so hard to know what is in "non-edible" things though.How are you doing? Any lingering issues from the reaction?

  • TJHOLT2016

    When benadryl wears off I can feel it.  But I am definitely better, thanks for asking.   Taking pepcid and benadryl and steroid pack for few more days.  I am still really confused and pretty shaken up over it.  Was definitely different then reaction when I have digested something.   My kids keep thinking there must have been peanut or sesame oil in them some how.  But who knows.

  • Shea

    You might want to make an appointment with an allergist and be tested for oyster/shellfish since the reaction was so intense. 

  • Jen

    Hi @TJHOLT2016,

    Welcome to AAFA's support forums.  Yikes on the reaction.  I ditto the suggestion to make an allergist appointment.  Do you think you'll be able to call and get one sometime soon?

  • TJHOLT2016

    Thank you for the suggestion!!   I am planning on calling first thing Monday to see what they suggest I do.   When I moved out to AZ I had an allergist who I did not like very much.  I was breastfeeding my son at the time he did my skin testing and I was negative across the board for things we know 100% without any doubt that I am severely allergic to.  It didn't matter if it was food or environmental.  So I need to find a new one for me to see.    I heard back from the company and they claim it was just antiseptic and should cause no reaction.    They had zero smell to them so that might make sense.    I am starting to lean to the potential of shellfish being more of a reality then I would like. 

  • Kathy P

    Allergy testing sounds like a good first start. Do you still have any left? The allergist may be able to do puddle testing with the solution and compare that to the standard seafood mix test. This is a good resource on food allergy testing –

  • K8sMom2002

    Yikes on the reaction! I agree … a good allergist would be my next step, too. 

    I will say that I developed my allergy to celery as an adult in my 30s, after a lifetime of loving and munching on celery. So it's not unheard of to develop an allergy to something you previously tolerated. Obviously if you have eaten oysters lately without a problem, that might mean something.

    Another possibility is that some people do react to betadine and other antiseptics. I know I developed hives from betadine after my last surgery, again after years of not reacting to anything during multiple surgeries.  

    To find an allergist near you, you can use the following two links:

      Could you reach out to either a doctor you like or to your insurance company and ask for suggestions?