Food Safety

Sesame – A New Food Allergen That Must Be Declared by Federal Law


You may already be familiar with the 8 foods that must be declared as major food allergens:  1) milk, 2) eggs, 3) fish (such as bass, flounder, cod), 4) crustacean shellfish such as crab, lobster, shrimp, 5) tree nuts such as almonds, walnuts, pecans, 6) peanuts, 7) wheat, and 8) soybean.  Now, effective January 1, 2023, the ninth food that has been identified and must be labelled as an allergen on packaged foods (including dietary supplements) is sesame.

“Sesame became the ninth major food allergen through the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act, a federal law passed in 2021. The other eight major food allergens were defined through a federal law passed in 2004.

While many kinds of foods can cause allergies, the federal laws focus on the most common ones and require that food labels identify the food source of a major food allergen using its common or usual name on the label.

The nine major food allergens cause the majority of serious food allergic reactions in the U.S.”

You May Not See it on Packaging Right Away:  Despite the new requirement, you may not see it listed on the label right away.  The new law does not require food products that were already on their way to the store or in stock before January 2023 to list sesame as an allergen, so they do not need to be removed from the marketplace or relabeled.  Additionally, some products that contain sesame may have a long shelf life so it can be difficult to determine when pre-2023 product will be used up and replaced with correctly labelled packaging.  It’s a good idea to always recheck labels if you have an allergy to certain ingredients.

Now that sesame is considered a major food allergen, the FDA expects that it be specifically listed as sesame on the label or if it’s part of another ingredient like spice mix. If a food package has a “Contains” statement and has sesame as an ingredient, sesame will now have to be included in that “Contains” statement. As a result, consumers will have more information about which products contain sesame as an ingredient.

Examples of New Sesame Labeling

Here is what the new sesame labeling might look like.

The name of the food source of a major food allergen must appear either:

In parentheses following the name of the ingredient.
Examples: “lecithin (soy),” “flour (wheat), natural flavor (sesame),” and “spices (sesame)”

Ingredient List

— OR —

Immediately after or next to the list of ingredients in a “Contains” statement.
Example: “Contains sesame.”

Contains” Statement

The sesame labeling requirements apply to packaged foods. Allergen labeling requirements for foods that aren’t packaged may vary, like bagels in a grocery bin or bakery goods displayed on trays. If you’re concerned about those products, you may want to ask store personnel for food allergen information.

Additional Resources:


Allergic to Sesame? Food Labels Now Must List Sesame as an Allergen, FDA,












― または ―原材料名リストの直後または隣に表示する「〇〇を含む」の文言に含める。




  • Food Allergies(食物アレルギー)、FDAのウェブサイト
  • Have Food Allergies? Read the Label(食物アレルギーをお持ちですか? ラベルをお読みください)、FDAの消費者向け情報
  • Food Allergy(食物アレルギー)、国立衛生研究所の「MedlinePlus」


Allergic to Sesame? Food Labels Now Must List Sesame as an Allergen(ゴマ・アレルギーですか? ゴマのアレルゲン表示が必須に)、FDA、

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