FASTER Act Makes Food Labeling Mandatory for Sesame Effective January 1, 2023
Sesame becomes ninth food designated a major allergen according to FDA
“As many as one-third of adults with sesame allergy discover it accidentally because they were unaware that sesame was in the item.”— Dr. Manav Segal
PHILADELPHIA, PA, UNITED STATES, December 30, 2022/ EINPresswire.com / -- As of January 1, 2023, the FASTER Act of 2021 (Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research Act of 2021) will expand the list of major food allergens for purposes of packaged food-labeling requirements to include sesame, according to the FDA. Previously, the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 included only eight foods as major allergens: eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, shellfish, soybeans, tree nuts, and wheat.
Sesame can cause severe reactions similar to those eight foods, yet it hasn’t been subject to the same labeling laws—until now.
“Sesame is among the most important ingredients to be listed on labels, because it’s so difficult to identify,” says Dr. Manav Segal, board certified allergist and immunologist at Chestnut Hill Allergy & Asthma Associates. “As many as one-third of adults with sesame allergy discover it accidentally because they were unaware that sesame was in the item.”
Sesame can be disguised in many forms and can be found in oils, pastes, breadcrumbs (which could be used in meatballs, soups, and coatings), granola, chips, crackers, dips such as hummus and tahini, bagels, breadsticks, hamburger buns, and some brands of candy corn. It can even be ground into a fine flour for baking. In addition to food, sesame can be included in lip gloss, body washes, shampoos, and conditioners. “Clear packaged-food labeling will make lives easier and help prevent accidental ingestion with severe reactions,” says Dr. Segal.
In addition to mandating that sesame be labeled on packaged foods in plain language, the FASTER Act
requires that the Secretary of Health and Human Services submit a report to Congress that includes data on the prevalence of food allergies and the severity of allergic reactions, as well as details on the development of effective food allergy diagnostics, the prevention of the onset of food allergies, and the development of new therapeutics to prevent, treat, cure, and manage food allergies. The report is expected to be submitted sometime in the second half of 2023.
Previously, the only option for those who suffer with severe food allergies was strict avoidance. More recently, Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) has proven effective for about 85% of patients, according to Dr. Segal. Under medical supervision, minute amounts of the allergen are introduced to the patient by mouth. With regular visits over a period of 12 – 15 months, patients who faced daily fear of life-threatening reactions to the allergen are able to build up a tolerance. For more information about food allergies and treatments, visit http://www.philadelphia-allergy.com/.
Dr. Manav Segal, of Chestnut Hill Allergy & Asthma Associates, is a leading Philadelphia-area allergist and immunologist who treats asthma and allergies in children and adults and provides breakthrough Oral Immunotherapy (OIT) to treat severe food allergies. Dr. Segal is Board certified by the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and the American Board of Internal Medicine and is Chief of Allergy & Immunology at Chestnut Hill Hospital. http://www.philadelphia-allergy.com/
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