Okay... this might seem like an odd one, but I'm hoping someone can help.
I'm going to Taiwan for Lunar New Year in a few weeks and one of my friends is really into eating a lot of the bizarre cuisine that is around. One of the dishes that we've read about and seems interesting is a dish with fried bees.
I don't know exactly what kind of bee/wasp/hornet I am allergic to, but I got stung on the arm and had a systemic reaction. I've been told that the next sting is likely an anaphylactic reaction.
That being said, would it be safe to eat fried bees? I don't know the preparation, but it's in a rural area so I doubt they go through the effort to remove stingers/poison sacs or anything like that.
As best as I can determine, following consultation with one of my Allergy colleagues is that the venom allergens, being heat-sensitive, would likely be broken down by frying.
However, and this is a big however, a substance called phospholipase is heat stable and so could still, at least hypothetically, remain as an allergenically active protein, even after frying. His advice, that I myself would definitely take is, “That’s asking for trouble; I would avoid ingesting these.”
In a word, avoid eating fried bees, fried wasps or any creatures that might be even remotely related to them.
An anaphylactic reaction can kill you. Skip the fried bees. Have the Poodle Gumbo instead. If you do not have an Epi-Pen, ask your doctor for one when you go for your pre-trip recommended immunizations, and keep it with you. Remember, should you need the Epi-Pen, it is only a temporary solution. You will still need to go to a hospital for definitive treatment.
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