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Sesame is now a major food allergen

Happy New Year.  To ring in 2023, we can now add sesame to the list of allergens, which means new labels; revisiting marketing claims; and enhanced preventive controls, sanitation practices, and other procedures. 

Effective January 1, 2023, foods containing sesame are now subject to specific food allergen regulatory requirements, including labeling and manufacturing requirements. Sesame has become the ninth major food allergen as a result of the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act, which was signed into law April 23, 2021. Sesame joins the eight other major food allergens: milk, eggs, fish, Crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans.

Per FDA, foods already in interstate commerce before 2023, including those on retail shelves, do not need to be removed from the marketplace or relabeled to declare sesame as an allergen.  Any foods being manufactured, labeled, or put into commerce in 2023 need to be properly labeled. Please reach out if you have any questions about your product labels or requirements set forth in vendor or customer agreements.  

If a food product fails to comply with the food allergen labeling requirements, it will be considered misbranded and subject to FDA enforcement action. FDA generally will expect the food to be recalled, and it can also be subject to import refusal and seizure by the agency.


food, fda, health care & life sciences