Sea salt

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jokensmoken

Master of the Pit
Original poster
Dec 7, 2016
1,072
343
Whitmore Lake Michigan
Something I've not seen mentioned on our forum I think is quite important to know about the use of sea salt in general.
Most folks don't associate salt with food allergies, however sea salt can be different.
Because of the way sea salts are harvested and processed people with a shell fish allergy may experience an allergic reaction; anywhere from slight to severe.
It's always wise to inform your guests when you've used it.
 
Thx, for the info, Good to know, My Dad is alegic to shellfish, But with his health condition he also doesn't use salt. But Good to Know.
 
Something I've not seen mentioned on our forum I think is quite important to know about the use of sea salt in general.
Most folks don't associate salt with food allergies, however sea salt can be different.
Because of the way sea salts are harvested and processed people with a shell fish allergy may experience an allergic reaction; anywhere from slight to severe.
It's always wise to inform your guests when you've used it.
If not already? maybe that should be a warring on the label?  Just like some products print, may contain Peanut Oil for those who are allergic to Peanuts. Gluten Free products is another big one!  Just my .02 cents worth.  
 
Whilst it seems logical that sea salt could be dangerous to people with seafood allergy I cannot see find evidence that this is actually the case. In the magazine "Allergic Living" a Chef specifically asked this question and was given the reply that, although the sea salt can contain microscopic copepods Dr Scott Sicherer concludes that "I could locate no studies or scientific reports to verify allergic reactions to sea salt or unfiltered water attributable to copepods. The risk appears to be extremely low."

http://allergicliving.com/2014/05/0...sh-allergies-to-consume-sea-salt/?override=US

Also bear in mind that all salt is actually sea salt. Even though it cannot be labelled "sea salt", salt that has been mined underground was originally formed by evaporating oceans.

I have also been looking at the labeling requirement for salt in foods and I cannot see that Sea Salt has to be differentiated from mined salt (except that iodine is added if it is being used as a table salt), which suggests that officially it is not considered to be an allergen. If someone has come across different advice then please let us know as I may have missed it.

It can never hurt to err of the safe side and let people know if you have used sea salt as an ingredient, however it is not considered to be a significant risk and is therefore not essential.
 
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Something I've not seen mentioned on our forum I think is quite important to know about the use of sea salt in general.
Most folks don't associate salt with food allergies, however sea salt can be different.
Because of the way sea salts are harvested and processed people with a shell fish allergy may experience an allergic reaction; anywhere from slight to severe.
It's always wise to inform your guests when you've used it.
Not a challenge, just curious as to your source. I have studied food allergens for years and never saw anything on solar evaporative harvested sea salt being an issue...JJ
 
My comment and assumption comes from a personal experience...
My sisters mother-in-law is allergic to shell fish and had a reaction at a family reunion several years ago...It was at a time where, in our area, sea salt was the all new popular health craze, and sea salt was used by alot of us in our recipes for our "dishes to pass".
Since no shell fish was served the doctor's at the hospital made the connection (quite possibly wrongly) between the sea salt and the reaction.
She has also had two more occasions of incident where the only common denominator was the sea salt.
Now it could have been simple over exposure due to the sea salts wide use and with normal use and under normal circumstances it might not (have) happen(ed); it could have been something all together different that triggered her allergy, but she (as well as the rest of the family) decided "better safe than sorry" and simply avoid it's use.
Now, I'm certainly not trying to dissuade the use of sea salt, raise false alarms or spread untrue rumors however, knowing the large numbers of folks that eat my BBQ I don't know intimately, and in assuming that's true for many of our forum members, I was simply sharing in hopes of sparing any others from that harrowing experience.
There are others here far more knowledgeable and experienced than I and I've come to respect that knowledge and expertise far too much to tarnisg this forums image with falsehoods...
If those of you who are very much more informed than I decide there's simply not enough evidence to support my assumption, I'd HAPPILY rescind my friendly warning.
As I said, I certainly don't want to be responsible for the spread of falsehoods...
 
Hi Walt - It is always good to share personal experiences like this as it may just not have been officially identified before. There is anecdotal evidence from others online with similar experiences online however they not not appear to have been substantiated. It would be interesting to hear if any other members have had similar experiences.

No, please don't stop posting things that that you think we should be aware of. Others may be wanting to ask similar questions but have not found the courage to do so. Unfortunately there are regular urban myths that get repeated on forums which gain more credibility each time they are re-told. We just try to take a balanced view and look for supporting evidence whenever something new is posted. I think this is one falls into the category of plausible but as yet unproven.

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Thanks Wade for the support for posting. I think in this case since i have no actual substantiation a more appropriate approach would have been to share the concern and open it up for a general discussion so those with more knowledge (like yourself and Chef Jimmy) can weigh in and offer more information....Because you're right the old "urban legend" effect is very true.
Walt.
 
I totally appreciate posts like this as we may all learn something new. You started a discussion, the first post was just a little scary...JJ
 
Right...And for that I appogize.
In the future I'll use more care and post things like this as a concern instead of as "a matter of fact" and ask for feedback when I have no real validation..
As Wade said, I don't want to to start an "urban legend" with no substantiation.
 
ummm Isn't ALL salt mined from long gone dead seas? If white table salt does not have a specific method of removing any artifacts from "the sea" I would only imagine any benefit from a scare like this would come from Morton?

I use it and while I have no allergies to seafood if I WERE allergic I would have to see some science behind scares like this b4 I gave any credit to it.
 
I always thought iodine was the allergen associated with table salt and also with shellfish.

At work, we always ask patients if they are allergic to shellfish before administering iodinated contrast like Gastrograffin (ingested) or Omnipaque (injected).

Since shellfish is a common source of dietary iodine, a patient will most likely have an anaphylactic reaction to a higher concentration of iodinated contrast if they answer "yes" to being allergic to shellfish. Then patients are advised to pre medicate or possibly consider a test of a different modality.

But I was not aware of an allergen present in sea salt. I am curious and interested to know.
 
My comment and assumption comes from a personal experience...
My sisters mother-in-law is allergic to shell fish and had a reaction at a family reunion several years ago...It was at a time where, in our area, sea salt was the all new popular health craze, and sea salt was used by alot of us in our recipes for our "dishes to pass".
Since no shell fish was served the doctor's at the hospital made the connection (quite possibly wrongly) between the sea salt and the reaction.
She has also had two more occasions of incident where the only common denominator was the sea salt.
Now it could have been simple over exposure due to the sea salts wide use and with normal use and under normal circumstances it might not (have) happen(ed); it could have been something all together different that triggered her allergy, but she (as well as the rest of the family) decided "better safe than sorry" and simply avoid it's use.
Now, I'm certainly not trying to dissuade the use of sea salt, raise false alarms or spread untrue rumors however, knowing the large numbers of folks that eat my BBQ I don't know intimately, and in assuming that's true for many of our forum members, I was simply sharing in hopes of sparing any others from that harrowing experience.
There are others here far more knowledgeable and experienced than I and I've come to respect that knowledge and expertise far too much to tarnisg this forums image with falsehoods...
If those of you who are very much more informed than I decide there's simply not enough evidence to support my assumption, I'd HAPPILY rescind my friendly warning.
As I said, I certainly don't want to be responsible for the spread of falsehoods...

What about mustard? Mustard is a major allergen. I only say this because you mention BBQ.

Rubs and BBQ sauces may contain mustard. Also side dishes like macaroni or potato salad.

I do not discredit you or wish to cause hysteria. I just want you and your family to stay safe and maybe give you an outside perspective of something small that could have possibly been overlooked.
 
Off topic a bit...With some suggesting that "all" salt originated in the sea; I did a little research...
The USGS (united States geological society) does not support this...
Salt is an earth compound...Meaning it originated in the ground and has been dissolved by water over many many millions of years...The same as nearly every other mineral, compound or element...Salt is much more prevalent because it is much more soluble
That doesn't distract from the very true fact receding seas and oceans do leave behind salt deposits, but salt originated in the ground, not the sea.
 
In Europe Mustard is already an allergen that has to be identified on food labelling - but I  do not know if this is yet a requirement in the USA. From looking at the FDA documentation it does not appear to be so.
 
Salt is an earth compound...Meaning it originated in the ground and has been dissolved by water over many many millions of years...The same as nearly every other mineral, compound or element...Salt is much more prevalent because it is much more soluble
Yes, the salts are formed in a number of different ways but then are leached out of the rocks by water and then washed into the rivers and then the oceans. The oceans are not responsible for making all of the salt but they are responsible for concentrating it into large mineable salt deposits - as ancient oceans evaporate to form beds of salt crystals that then get covered over.
 
That "absolute" is highly contested today within some scientific communities today...Many earth science scientists, geologists and creationists (not religious creationists but earth origin creationists) question why, if the evaporate theory is true are there large, thick deep salt deposits of relative puriety...There should obviously be other impurities and deposits within the salt if sea water evaporation was responsible that are just not present in many deep mines.
Another piece that doesn't fit the evaporate theory is the thickness of some of these deposits...Many are found to be many kilometers thick...It takes the evaporation of 60 kilometers of saturated salt water to form a one kilometer thick salt deposit...The amount of evaporation is astronomical and computer models are showing it is not highly likely that evaporation can account for the thickness of many deep mined deposits. To further compound the problem, alot of these deposits are found on continents that are not conducive of those evaporation rates at all...Even over 100s of millions of years.
The magmatic theory explains these inconstancies much better.
That doesn't make what you claim false by any means, because sea salt deposits are mined every day throughout the world...THAT IS FACT...It's simply that there's mounting evidence that flowing water dissolving and concentrating salt then evaporating is not the only or maybe even the main factor in forming salt deposits.
But, until academia comes around I'll concede to you because what you claim IS taught as an absolute. It just not a widely accepted in some scientific circles today as it once was.
Besides all that nonesense... talking about BBQ and debating fat cap up or fat cap down when smoking muscle meats, or do I really need water in my water pan is much more fun to discuss.
 
Hey, I'm not trying to "scare" ANYONE and I'm not advocating not using sea salt...It was a friendly FYI based on a very harrowing personal experience. That's all it was and all it was meant to be
And it isn't/wasn't my personal assessment or assumption...the sea salt connection was made by an Emergency Room doctor. Maybe I'm abnormal but when a doctor says "hey I think it is..." I usually listen.
 
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