[Updated from a previous article]
Sesame is now joining the other top allergens, going into effect January 1st, 2023. On April 23, 2021, the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act was signed into law, which declared sesame as the 9th major food allergen (joining Soy, Milk, Wheat, Egg, Fish, Shellfish, Peanuts and Tree Nuts) recognized by the United States.
Sesame had yet to be recognized in the United States as a major allergen until this point, although it had already been recognized in several other countries including Australia, Canada, Israel, and Europe. Sesame has also already been declared as the ninth most common food allergy among U.S. children and adults, and has increased over the past two decades, according to multiple sources. We here at MenuTrinfo are very excited for this much needed change.
New legislation from the FDA means more questions from the industry and consumers alike. Read more regarding who this affects and what this means.
For Food Establishments
If you post allergen information for your menu items, sesame will be available on MenuTrinfo allergen reports. We also recommend looking into expanding allergy training to include sesame, so servers and kitchen staff are well prepared for consumer needs and questions!
For Food Manufacturers
Food manufacturers nationwide are required by January 1st, 2023 to identify sesame as an allergen in nutrition information for products. Food manufacturers may also need to re-think production and cleaning standards with potential risk for sesame cross-contact. Companies that comply with this new law have the benefit of keeping their consumers informed and safe – a great reputation booster!
Consumers will be able to safely recognize sesame as an allergen in products beginning January 1st, 2023. This will be listed in the “CONTAINS” or “MAY CONTAIN” statement at the bottom of a nutrition label, as shown below. While some manufacturers may begin labeling early, they are not required to do so until the 2023 deadline, so consumers will still need to be alert and aware of sesame in foods.
The most obvious places you may find sesame is in items such as crackers, biscuits, bagels and hamburger buns. But some of the less obvious places that sesame may appear are in pizza crust, candy, noodles, energy bars, and margarine. Some products do not disclose sesame as an ingredient at all. In some instances, if sesame is a flavoring agent and not a primary ingredient, you can see it as a “spice” on labels. Consumers should continue to keep this in mind until there is more peace of mind with sesame labeling next year!
This new allergen declaration is a big step forward for the allergy community. It could potentially save thousands of people from going to the hospital each year. As the law goes into effect, many consumers can eat a little easier knowing exactly what’s in their food, and brands who comply will find a loyal following of consumers who want fully transparent nutrition information.
How MenuTrinfo Can Help
- MenuTrinfo can aid clients in being able to be compliant with labeling for the Top 9 Allergens.
- Sesame is available on our allergen reports, so our clients will easily be able to decipher what menu items contain sesame. This can help our clients protect their consumers with sesame allergies!
- MenuTrinfo can provide assistance with identifying sesame in products, and provide suggestions for reducing instances of this allergen in menu items.
For more information, inquire about a food allergy solution or contact your designated fulfillment specialist for sesame needs.
MenuTrinfo® is a company dedicated to ensuring safe food service by providing allergen and nutritional information, as well as programs such as Certified Free From™, AllerTrain® and a wide variety of services for colleges, universities, manufacturers of consumer-packaged goods, and more. We excel in employee food allergy training and certification, as well as food safety guidance and menu consulting. MenuTrinfo® has become a trusted partner for food service partners and manufacturers across the United States, and the company’s mission is to protect lives and make dining experiences as safe as possible for those with allergy restrictions.