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Sesame Must Be Declared on Food Labels in 2023

Posted on in Food Allergies

Illinois food allergy lawyerAn increasing number of Americans are living with food allergies today than ever before. The CDC says someone suffers a food allergy reaction and winds up in the emergency room every three minutes. More than 32 million Americans have a food allergy and 1.5 million are specifically allergic to sesame. Therefore, effective January 1, 2023, sesame was added as the ninth major food allergen recognized by the United States.

Sesame: The Ninth Food Allergen

Under the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act of 2021, sesame must be clearly labeled on packaged foods. Sesame is an edible seed of the sesame plant and a popular ingredient in everything from baked goods to sushi. Reports suggest this allergy has increased significantly around the world in the past two decades.

When someone is allergic to sesame, the proteins in the seeds bind to antibodies made by the person’s immune system. As with any allergy, that triggers a person’s immune defenses and leads to symptoms that may be mild or severe. Mild symptoms involve swollen lips and hives. More serious injuries include anaphylaxis, which could trigger fatal respiratory problems. This reaction could require being rushed to the emergency room or an epinephrine (EpiPen) injection. Food allergies cannot be cured but learning to manage food allergies and recognizing what foods to avoid can prevent serious health consequences. Here are the nine major food allergens that should be properly identified on food labels moving forward, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

  • Sesame

  • Soybeans

  • Peanuts

  • Tree Nuts

  • Milk

  • Shellfish

  • Fish

  • Wheat

  • Eggs

These account for 90 percent of all allergic food reactions in the country.  

Incorrect or Vague Labeling

Federal law requires all known allergens to be printed on food labels when it is in or is a part of the product. That is because food labels are designed to protect people from serious injury. Unfortunately, serious food allergy reactions caused by incorrect packaging or labeling of a product still occur. Some companies often state on the packaging that an item may contain an allergen to cover their bases and lack of efficient equipment sanitation, but this is unsatisfactory.

Contact an Illinois Food Allergy Lawyer

If you have suffered from a sesame food allergy do not hesitate to contact Newland & Newland, LLP. An experienced Illinois food allergy attorney will review your case and discuss your legal options. Call 312-981-0409 for a free consultation.

Sources:

https://www.foodallergy.org/media-room/fare-sends-letter-fda-regarding-draft-guidance-voluntary-sesame-labeling

https://www.foodallergy.org/resources/food-allergy-research-funding

https://www.cdc.gov/healthyschools/foodallergies/index.htm

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