New food allergen labeling changes have been in effect as of January 2023.
On April 23, 2012, the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education and Research (FASTER) Act was signed into law, declaring sesame as the 9th major food allergen recognized by the United States.
This change will become effective on January 1, 2023. Until that time, manufacturers do not have to list sesame as an allergen, although in most cases it must appear in the ingredient statement.
An exception is when sesame is a part of natural flavoring or spice. Another exception is when sesame is not in the common or usual name of a food (e.g., tahini, which is made from sesame seeds). In November 2020, the FDA issued “voluntary disclosure of sesame as an allergen: Guidance for industry” to encourage manufacturers to voluntarily declare sesame in the ingredient list when it is used as a “flavoring” or “spice” or when the common or usual name (such as tahini) does not specify sesame. Thus, spices and seasoning manufacturers should have already made labels declaration.*
Action Item: meat and food processor labels need to take place prior to January 1, 2023.
Some helpful tips:
- Request ALLERGEN STATEMENT for each spice blend or flavoring used from your spice or seasoning distributor or manufacturer.
- Confirm that any allergen declared in the allergen statement is included on each of your labels (ingredient statement, and “contains” statements).
- Confirm that any allergen ingredient that you add (e.g., non-fat dry milk, soy protein, modified food starch, etc.) are included on each label (ingredient statement and “contains” statement) that contain the allergen.
- File the allergen statement with label approvals.
- Store allergen ingredients separately from non-allergen ingredients.
- Make all products that do not contain allergens FIRST or start of production.
- If you batch allergen ingredient(s) from a bulk container, label the container with allergen, disperse with identified utensil, dispense into a disposable bag, or identified container.
Future Food Allergen Labeling
The FASTER Act requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to submit a report with recommendations for the “timely transparent, and evidence-based modification of the definition of major food allergen” in the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
More on the label at Supermarketlabels.com
Contact us if you need more information on allergen labels.
*AAMP Amplifier, February 2022