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5 Takeaways from the New Food Allergy Act

It may take some time before you see the consequences of the law faster. The law gives manufacturers 20 months to make sure that any product they make that contains sesame is reflected on the packaging.

From January 1, 2023, if the food contains sesame, you should see it on the label.

At the same time, if you or someone in your family is allergic, look for ingredients that may be sesame-based, such as tahini, sesame, and gum, according to Food Allergy Research & Education, a non-profit organization McLean, Va. And beware of “spices” և “natural flavors” that may include sesame.

It also helps to be aware of the types of foods that tend to contain sesame: falafel, hummus, and some rice. And sesame oil is a common ingredient in Asian cuisine. But keep in mind that sesame seeds can also be found in chips, cereals, snacks, and a variety of other foods.

The good news is that some companies, such as General Mills և Hershey’s, already have sesame in their labels when it is used as an ingredient.

The new law brings a sense of reassurance to people who deal with sesame allergies. In the United States, it is about 1.1 million children and adults, according to a 2019 study published in the journal JAMA Network Open. The study found that less than a quarter of children and adults rated sesame allergy.

Still, Lauren E. Krigbaum is one of those parents who breathes a sigh of relief. Mrs. Craigbaum’s 2-year-old daughter has five different food allergies, including sesame. But so far, sesame was the only daughter allergy that was not a federal labeling law.

“When you have a child with a food allergy, your life focuses on food,” said Ms. Craigbaum, a financial aid consultant in Boys, Idaho. “So the potential for stress is huge.”


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