Posts Tagged ‘allergic reaction’

As of January 1, 2023, sesame joins the major food allergens list as declared by federal law. There are nine major food allergens:

sesame seeds
  1. Milk
  2. Eggs
  3. Fish, such as bass, flounder, cod
  4. Shellfish, such as crab, lobster, shrimp
  5. Tree nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, pecans
  6. Peanuts
  7. Wheat
  8. Soybeans
  9. Sesame

While many different types of foods can cause allergies, federal law focuses on the ones that cause most allergic reactions. Federal law requires that the common name of the nine major food allergens be identified on the food label.  Due to this change in regulations, any new packaging must have sesame clearly identified for sale. It’s important to still look at labels carefully as older items will still be on the shelf during this label transition period.

Preventing a reaction starts with avoiding the allergen. Sesame can be found in:

Bowl of hummus
  • Hummus
  • Baked goods
  • Sushi
  • Dressings
  • Cereals
  • Cosmetics
  • Perfumes
  • Medications

Additional food and non-food items that may contain sesame can be found on Food Allergy website. Sesame can appear in foods and products so don’t’ be afraid to ask questions if you aren’t sure of the ingredients and read the label carefully.

Possible symptoms of a sesame allergy include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Hives
  • Pain in abdomen
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Itchiness in throat or mouth
  • Coughing
  • Hoarse voice

Severity of the symptoms varies from person to person. Reactions can me mild, such as nausea, to severe, such as anaphylaxis. People who may experience anaphylaxis should always carry an EpiPen with them. A person having minor symptoms may treat with over-the-counter antihistamines but if someone is showing signs of anaphylaxis, please call 911 or seek immediate medical attention. If you are unsure of your allergic reaction, please consult your doctor who can help with a diagnosis.


FARE. (2023, January 2). Sesame Allergy. Retrieved from https://www.foodallergy.org/living-food-allergies/food-allergy-essentials/common-allergens/sesame#:~:text=Symptoms%20of%20a%20sesame%20allergy,first%2Dline%20treatment%20for%20anaphylaxis.&text=To%20prevent%20a%20reaction%2C%20it%20is%20very%20imp

U.S. Food & Drug Administration. (2023, January 10). Allergic to Sesame? Food Labels Now Must List Sesame as an Allergen. Retrieved from https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/allergic-sesame-food-labels-now-must-list-sesame-allergen

Author: Amanda Bohlen, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Washington County, bohlen.19@osu.edu

Reviewer: Alisha Barton, Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, Ohio State University Extension, Miami County, barton.345@osu.edu

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