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Code: f303
Latin name: Hippoglossus hippoglossus
Source material: Fish muscle
Family: Pleuronectidae
Anaphylaxis after eating halibut has been reported.

Allergen Exposure

Cooked and fried in various dishes.

Potential Cross-Reactivity

Species within groups of fish, like Gadiformes (examples: codfish and hake) and Scombroid fishes (examples: mackerel and tuna) seem to share allergenic components. The overlap of allergen specificity between the groups seems to be moderate or even small.

Clinical Experience

IgE-mediated reactions
Skin-sensitivity, anaphylaxis and other symptoms related to food allergy have been reported.
A large, oceanic flat fish sometimes weighing several hundred kilos. The larger fish can be 30 to 35 years old. Halibut is most often frozen, but is sold fresh in markets near the fishing areas.
Clinical experience
Sera from 2 patients with anaphylactic sensitization to halibut and tuna were studied to assess cross-reactivity with 16 other fish species (1). The IgE binding patterns were more similar as the taxonomical relationship became closer. Skin sensitivity to halibut has been reported (2). Repeated episodes of food-allergic symptoms and anaphylaxis after eating halibut were reported in an early study (3).


  1. Frick, OL; Barker, S. Allergenicity among different food fish species studied by western blotting. J Allergy Clin Immunol; 1989; 83: 295.
  2. Stricker, WE; Anorve-Lopez, E; Reed, CE. Food skin testing in patients with idiopathic anaphylaxis. J Allergy Clin Immunol; 1986; 77: 516-519.
  3. Golbert, TM; Patterson, R; Pruzansky, JJ. Systemic allergic reactions to ingested antigens. J Allergy; 1969; 44: 96-107.


As in all diagnostic testing, the diagnosis is made by the physican based on both test results and the patient history.