People with Seafood Allergies Should Avoid Eating Cicadas, FDA Warns
Since cicadas reappeared last month, many chefs and home cooks have experimented with the insect by including them in tacos and wrapping them in rice for sushi
The reemergence of cicadas in certain regions of the United States, including the East Coast and Midwest, has prompted the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to share a vital message to consumers of the insects.
On Wednesday, the FDA said on Twitter that any consumers with seafood allergies should not eat cicadas under any circumstances due to the bug's connection to shrimp and lobsters.
"Yep! We have to say it! Don't eat #cicadas if you're allergic to seafood as these insects share a family relation to shrimp and lobsters," the agency wrote.
While a surprising fact to many, chefs and home cooks have experimented with cicadas since they reappeared last month through several cuisine methods such as wrapping them in rice for sushi, putting them in tacos or using them to garnish chocolate chip cookies, according to the Washington Post.
Tobias Padovano, a chef at a restaurant in Virginia told USA Today that his cicada tacos dish sells out every time he includes it on the menu for customers.
"I have not heard a single person say they don't like them," Padovana said. "I've seen every plate that comes back with them, and they've all been empty. People are incredibly excited about them. They come in and they ask for them."
Cicadas are from the Brood X species, which come out of their underground homes in tree roots every 17 years for a loud, month-long ritual. Their first sightings last month occurred in Virginia, Maryland and Georgia, and are expected to pop up more on the East Coast in the coming days amid the warmer weather, according to NBC News.
The FDA's Center for Veterinary Medicine said last month that cicadas are not toxic, but their crunchy/crispy exoskeleton "can irritate the stomach lining if eaten in large volumes and can be a potential choking hazard, especially for small dogs."