Open Sesame (Labelling!)

The U.S. FDA recently published guidance regarding the labelling of sesame and sesame products in the ingredient statement of food labels.

Did you know that some people are allergic to sesame?  It is estimated that there may be as many people who are allergic to sesame as the number of people who are allergic to soy or fish!

Many products containing sesame are currently labelled, but sometimes the sesame is hidden. The spice blend Za’atar for example often contains sesame. Did you know that Tahini is made by grinding sesame into paste?  If this product is labelled as “tahini” it may not be apparent that there is sesame in it.   Sometimes sesame is used as a “flavor” or a “spice” and labelled as such.  In these instances, the ingredient statement would not alert the allergic consumer that the product contains sesame.

Sesame is not one of the U.S. eight major food allergens requiring labelling by FDA.  However,  the FDA is encouraging food manufacturers to voluntarily label their products if they contain sesame.    Let’s keep our consumer safe, it’s the right thing to do!

Questions? Contact us.

Posted on 16 November 2020