Prepare now to list sesame with other menu label alerts.
Sesame has joined the list of allergens requiring menu label alerts, and you need to prepare for its impact on your foodservice operation.
Effective January 1, 2023, sesame became the ninth labeled allergen. It joins peanuts, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soybeans as ingredients listed as allergens on all packaged foods in the United States.
The Food, Allergy, Safety, Treatment, Education and Research (FASTER) Act of 2021 expands the definition of major food allergen for certain food-labeling requirements. It adds sesame to the current “Big 8” allergens. In addition, the Department of Health and Human Services must report on certain information related to food allergy research and data collection activities.
All foodservice establishments should be prepared to identify sesame on their menus and respond to customer questions regarding sesame. At the start of 2023, manufacturers will be required by law to call out sesame as an allergen on the label if it’s listed in the ingredient statement.
Sesame is found in a number of products and even under various names:
- Benne, benne seed, benniseed
- Gingelly, gingelly oil
- Gomasio (sesame salt)
- Sesame flour
- Sesame oil
- Sesame paste
- Sesame salt
- Sesame seed
- Sesamum indicum
- Sim sim
- Tahini, Tahina, Tehina
The Gordon Food Service Nutrition Resource Center (NRC) team has updated our allergen handouts, resources, posters and training topics. Ask your Gordon Food Service Sales Representative for a hard copy of our allergen poster.
Our Quality Assurance and Private Brand Packaging teams partnered with vendors to identify items containing sesame. They updated product specifications and implemented packaging changes to ensure that all exclusive Gordon Food Service private label products complied with the FASTER Act by the January 1, 2023 deadline.
For questions regarding national brand items, please reach out to the manufacturer directly. For any other questions, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.