We Need Your Story About Sesame Labeling in the U.S.

 

Have you had issues with undeclared sesame or sesame hiding in foods? We need your story to submit to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prove the need for allergen labeling for sesame in the U.S. Send us your examples of the following to advocacy@aafa.org.

  1. Foods with undeclared sesame - these are foods where a) “sesame” is not listed in the ingredients, and b) you confirmed separately that there is sesame in the product.
  2. Food labels where sesame is listed in the ingredients under an unusual name like “tahini” or “benne.”

Provide as much information as possible:

  • Images of the front of the food package label
  • Ingredients list
  • Any written correspondence with the company or test results confirming that sesame is present
  • The exact circumstances of exposure, including how you knew sesame was in the food
    The effects of the reaction, including hospital stays, treatment received, and any lasting health impacts

Thank you for assisting us with our advocacy efforts to improve labeling in the U.S.!

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Comments (3)

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My 9 yr old son is highly allergic to sesame and had a recent near anaphylaxis reaction to sesame consumption from a salad dressing that contained sesame but sesame wasn’t declared as an allergen.If we ever go out to restaurants to eat he can’t take bread and anything with secret spices and sometimes as simple as pasta dish as sesame is being used more abundantly nowadays.Pizza also is tough for the most part as flour for dough may have traces of sesame.Its a shame that we are far behind the countries like Canada and European countries as they are much more aware and declare sesame as one of the top allergen.I hope to see sesame in the list of declared allergen as there is an tremendous rise in the number of children with this allergy.

As a four month old, my son was diagnosed with sesame allergy.   We attempted a food challenge with his allergist at age three years.   He had "severe life-threatening reaction" (doctor's words) to the smallest dose, equal to about one seed.   Continuing to avoid all "natural flavor" and " spice" when companies will not disclose ingredients to us is difficult.  Now, as an almost nine year old, he has never eaten in a restaurant.  Navigating these school aged years is difficult and handling exclusions from parties and food outings with friends placed us in a position to food challenge him again.  Last week, he again failed a challenge of a trace amount of sesame and our full avoidance continues. It is very frustrating that US companies can disguise sesame with a label when other countries require disclosure of this information for a growing, serious allergen.  

Thank you for helping families like ours declare sesame as an ingredient that must be labeled.  

I also want to add that sesame is also used in bath and body care products. It and mustard are incredibly hard allergens to stay away from because they could be "natural flavors" or "spices." We don't buy any processed foods or eat at restaurants. Bakeries have sesame seeds everywhere!

Kids With Food Allergies
A Division of the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
8201 Corporate Drive Suite 1000 Landover, MD 20785
Phone: 1-800-7-ASTHMA (1.800.727.8462)
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