Sesame Addition to Foods Sparks Concerns Among Allergy Advocates

Sesame Addition to Foods: If food manufacturers identify sesame correctly, they are not violating the new federal food allergy law, according to the FDA. The Center for Science in the Public Interest wants to ensure food safety. They make sure our meals won’t harm us. They’re really frightened that our meals might suddenly have more sesame, and they want it to stop. A January law caused this hike.

The EPA said no to the advocacy group’s request, which made food safety activists really worried. People who are really smart about food allergies say that about 1.6 million people in the United States have allergies to sesame. Allergies can be super serious and even like, really dangerous. They can even like, put someone’s life at risk.

Sesame is used in stuff like protein bars, ice cream, sauces, spice blends, and hamburger buns. Guess what? Olive Garden, Chick-Fil-A, Wendy’s, and even the places where we buy groceries and go to school are now using sesame in their bread.

Sesame Addition to Foods

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The folks who make the food say that it’s simpler to add sesame and inform people about it, instead of removing it from other foods and machines. Food safety activists worry about sesame allergy hazards from this method.

Food Allergy Research & Education’s vice president of regulatory affairs, Robert Earl, said adding sesame to meals limits allergy sufferers’ choices and puts their community at danger. Since
the law’s introduction, many have reported allergic reactions after eating “safe” goods with sesame.

The FDA’s decision disappointed Northwestern University physician Dr. Ruchi Gupta. She stressed the significance of assisting adults and children with sesame allergies and aimed to reduce sesame use in food. Since January 1, all U.S. items containing sesame, Congress’ eighth significant allergy, must be labeled.

Sesame, along with milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans, was long advocated for as a primary allergy. The FDA said that putting sesame in food might hurt people,
but they also said that companies can’t lie about putting it in or say that a product might have it.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest’s Dr. Peter Lurie wanted to explain things so food companies would do the right thing even if they didn’t have to. Wendy’s and Olive Garden haven’t answered our questions. Still  fighting for sesame-allergic protection.

Our Reader’s Queries

What companies are adding sesame to food?

Several manufacturers and restaurants, including Chick-fil-A, Culver’s, and Dave’s Killer Bread, have opted for a risky and cost-effective approach to bypass the FASTER Act’s cross-contamination regulations. They have deliberately introduced sesame into food items that were previously free of it.

What foods to avoid with a sesame allergy?

Sesame can be found in a variety of foods, including Asian cuisine where sesame oil is frequently used. Baked goods like bread, bagels, and rolls may also contain sesame, as well as bread crumbs, cereals like granola and muesli, and chips such as pita and tortilla chips. Sesame snap bars and melba toast are also potential sources of sesame. It’s important to be aware of these foods if you have a sesame allergy or intolerance.

Why are companies putting sesame in bread?

To ensure consumer safety, many commercial bakers have started incorporating sesame flour into their products. This is due to the difficulty in completely removing all traces of sesame from baking equipment, especially since the seed has been classified as a major allergen. The American Bakers Association President and CEO W. emphasizes that this decision is not driven by cost savings, but rather a commitment to protecting the health of their customers.

Is sesame added to the major food allergens list by the FDA?

As of January 1, 2023, sesame has been recognized as the ninth major food allergen by the FASTER Act. This means that food labels are now required to list sesame as a major allergen.

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