FDA adds sesame to the list of major food allergens
As of 1 January 2023, sesame is subject to specific food allergen regulatory requirements, including labelling and manufacturing requirements in the US.
The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has enforced that, as of 1 January 2023, foods containing sesame will be subject to specific food allergen regulatory requirements, including labelling and manufacturing requirements.
Sesame will be added to the list of major food allergens defined in the law as the result of the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act, joining eight other major food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA) more than 50 million people in the US experience various types of allergies each year and allergies are the sixth leading cause of chronic illness in the US.
Looking specifically at sesame allergies, FoodAllergy.org has claimed that approximately 0.23 percent of US children and adults are allergic to sesame, with reactions ranging from hives to anaphylaxis.
The FDA has reminded consumers that “those foods already in interstate commerce before 2023, including those on retail shelves, do not need to be removed from the marketplace or relabelled to declare sesame as an allergen”. Thus, depending on shelf life, some food products may not have allergen labelling for sesame on the effective date.
To ensure consumer safety, the FDA has advised that consumers should check with the manufacturer if they are not sure whether a food product contains sesame.