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On April 23, 2021, the 117th U.S. Congress signed the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act into law, making sesame a major allergen. Starting January 01, 2023, any food, beverage, or dietary supplement that contains sesame as a food source must include notice on its label.

FASTER was passed as a compliment of the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2004 (FALCPA). Both laws endeavor to make it easier for consumers who are allergic to foods to identify and avoid foods that contain major food allergens. The United States Food and Drug Administration is responsible for enforcing the provisions of both FASTER and FALCPA in most packaged food products. This includes dietary supplements but does not include meat, poultry, and egg products – which are regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture; alcoholic beverages subject to Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau labeling regulations; raw agricultural commodities; drugs; cosmetics; and most foods sold at retail or food service that are not pre-packaged with a label.

Current major food allergens include: milk, eggs, fish, crustacean shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soybeans. Starting January 01, 2023, this list will be augmented to include the addition of sesame. Disclosure of sesame will not be required until then, although it is recommended to begin preparations.

To comply, the food source name of a major food allergen must appear either in parentheses following the name of the ingredient OR adjacent to the list of ingredients in a “contains” statement.

FASTER's and FALCPA's labeling requirements do not apply to foods that are placed in a wrapper or container – such as paper or a box for a sandwich – following a customer’s order at the point of purchase.

*draft, update planned


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