Do not eat cicadas if you’re allergic to shrimp, shellfish, FDA warns

The Meals and Drug Administration has a colourful warning for individuals with a shellfish allergy: don’t eat cicadas. Seems, the company warns, that the noisy bugs really share a “household relation” to shrimp and lobsters. 

“Yep! We now have to say it!” the FDA tweeted on Wednesday. “Don’t eat #cicadas in the event you’re allergic to seafood as these bugs share a household relation to shrimp and lobsters.” 

Whereas the warning shocked most of the FDA’s Twitter followers, it seems consuming cicadas isn’t exceptional, and it’s not even the primary time consultants have issued the warning for these with shellfish allergic reactions.  In truth, final month Montclair State College launched a how-to on harvesting and cooking cicadas.

“Brood X cicadas are one of many world’s most unimaginable animal phenomena,” Cortni Borgerson, assistant a college assistant professor of anthropology, stated within the explainer. “In a yr the place few of us could also be touring to see pure wonders like Africa’s nice migration, or the elephant gathering of Sri Lanka, we’re extremely privileged to have this uncommon spectacle occurring in our very personal backyards. Brood X supplies an infusion of vitamins into the ecosystem, and people have been having fun with this occasion for its sights, sounds and style for millennia.”


Whereas perhaps not the case for you, Borgerson identified that bugs are thought of an vital supply of meals for as many as 2 billion individuals. Monitoring down Brood X cicadas, nevertheless, may be tough so Borgerson provided a number of ideas. 

“You’ll have the ability to hear while you’re shut,” Borgerson stated. “These cicadas dwell as nymphs underground for 17 years, after which tunnel up via the bottom to the floor the place they shed into their winged grownup section, residing solely 4-6 weeks. Cicada are tastiest of their teneral stage, which is correct after they’ve shed into their grownup varieties, however are nonetheless pale whereas earlier than their exoskeletons have hardened.” 


Their texture is described as just like shrimp or crustaceans, however they do not should be peeled earlier than consumption or after being cooked. There are even some eating places that serve them inside tacos. One chef informed USA As we speak that there’s by no means been a grievance concerning the dish following an order. 

“I’ve seen each plate that comes again with them, and so they’ve all been empty,” Tobias Padovano, a chef at a Virginia restaurant informed USA As we speak. “Persons are extremely enthusiastic about them. They arrive in and so they ask for them.” 

White Cicada nymph surrounded by empty pores and skin on left and mature grownup cicada with drying wings on proper.

So why the warning for these with a shellfish allergy? 

“A shellfish allergy will increase the chance that you can be allergic to cicada, so it’s higher to be secure than sorry and abstain from land arthropods in the event you can’t eat their sea swimming cousins,” Borgerson stated. 


Crustacean shellfish are thought of to be one of many eight commonest allergenic meals which make up 90% of meals allergic reactions within the U.S., in line with the FDA. 

Signs of a meals allergy could current as hives, flushed pores and skin or rash, tingling or itchy sensation within the mouth, face, tongue or lip swelling, vomiting or diarrhea, stomach cramps, coughing or wheezing, dizziness or lightheadedness, swelling of the throat and vocal cords, issue respiratory, and even lack of consciousness. They will also be life-threatening and even trigger anaphylaxis. 

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