Back to News

Should Sesame Join the Big 8 Allergens?

Published on

November 11, 2020

The “Big 9”?

While sesame has never in the United States been declared a major allergen that must be listed on food labeling if it is included in the ingredients — even if it has in other countries — new data from the federal Food and Drug Administration suggests it somewhat easily could someday force its way onto the list.

The data, which is now part of new draft guidance from the FDA, show that 0.2% of both children and adults suffer from a sesame allergy, just less than the rate of the Big 8 allergens. However, the data report shows that two-thirds of a sesame allergy reaction in children requires an emergency room visit – more than most other allergens.

Based on the data gathered, the FDA has concluded that severe allergic reactions have occurred because consumers may not know things like hummus and tahini may have sesame as one of their “flavorings.” The new FDA guidance suggests the industry disclose when a spice or flavoring contains sesame, such as an ingredient statement with a sesame-containing component that should now look more like “spices (including sesame)” or “tahini (sesame).”

Even when the final version is published, the Voluntary Disclosure of Sesame as an Allergen: Guidance for Industry is not binding, but rather reflects the agency’s current thinking on this issue. The FDA encourages interested parties to submit comments to the draft version of this guidance within 60 days.

However, while not required, the draft guidance and subsequent final guidance may be treated as a standard of care or industry standard in a product liability setting. If you have sesame products you should confer with your insurer and counsel about labeling.

If you have any questions about whether your company’s labeling is compliant with the most up-to-date labeling requirements and guidance, or if you would like assistance with comments on the draft guidance, please contact me or anyone in the Barley Snyder Food & Agribusiness Industry Group

Related News

View More News
News Alert
June 19, 2024

USDA Issues Proposed Rule on Poultry Grower Payment Systems and Capital Improvement Systems

This is an update to our December 6, 2023 alert titled “New Poultry Contr...

Learn More
Press Release
May 20, 2024

Barley Snyder Partner Justin Tomevi Appointed to Eastern University’s College of Business and Leadership Advisory Board

For Immediate Release York, Pa. – Barley Snyder is pleased to announce pa...

Learn More
News Alert
May 16, 2024

Fighting Bird Flu: USDA to Provide Funding to Combat HPAI

This is an update to our April 25, 2024, alert titled “Bird Flu’s Curr...

Learn More

Get in Touch

Our attorneys, paralegals and staff look forward to hearing from you. Please reach out to let us know how we can help.

Get In Touch
Super Lawyers
Best Law Firms US News
Best Lawyers