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The Hidden Dangers of Sesame: What You Need to Know About Sesame Allergies

Sesame has been recognized as a major food allergen in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as of January 1st. The change is the result of the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research Act (FASTER Act) which was signed into law in April 2021. The addition of sesame to the list of major food allergens means that foods containing sesame will now be subject to specific regulatory requirements related to allergen labeling and manufacturing. Sesame allergies can affect individuals of all ages and manifest as a range of symptoms including coughing, an itchy throat, vomiting, diarrhea, mouth rash, shortness of breath, wheezing, and drops in blood pressure. The FDA will conduct inspections and sampling of food products to ensure that major food allergens are properly labeled and to prevent allergen cross-contact in food facilities.