The Food & Drug Administration will begin treating sesame as a major allergen with the arrival of the new year, and along with that designation comes new rules for declaring sesame as an ingredient.
In an article posted on its website, USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service noted that sesame will not need to be declared on the labels of products under FSIS jurisdiction. However, the agency said, "the voluntary use of allergen 'contains' statements are permitted on meat, poultry and egg products."
A voluntary allergen “contains” statement may be added using a generic label approval, and so, adding "contains sesame" or similar on a label would not require that the label be submitted to FSIS for sketch approval.
FSIS has been allowing the voluntary inclusion of sesame and sesame derived components in “contains” statements prior to January 1.
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