Sesame Added as a Major Food Allergen

Congress has added sesame to the definition of "major food allergen," making it subject to the plain language labeling disclosure requirements for major food allergens and the major allergen preventative controls requirements.

Biscuits with sesame seeds.


In 2004, when Congress wrote the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, it noted that just eight foods and food groups, out of more than 160 identified food allergens, accounted for 90 percent of serious food allergic reactions. Now Congress has added sesame to the definition of "major food allergen."

The Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education and Research (FASTER) Act amended section 201(qq)(1) of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act, to add sesame to the list of foods and food groups that are defined as major food allergens. This makes sesame subject to the plain language labeling disclosure requirements for major food allergens and the major allergen preventative controls requirements.

The new requirement applies to any food that is introduced or delivered for introduction into interstate commerce on or after January 1, 2023. In the meantime, manufacturers would be prudent to follow the FDA Draft Guidance for Industry: Voluntary Disclosure of Sesame as an Allergen.

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