Sesame: hundreds of allergic reactions in the US, study shows

Sesame can create serious problems in allergic people and for this reason it is always expected that its presence (or possible contamination) is indicated on the label of food products. However, this is not always the case: in the United States the indication will only be mandatory starting from 2023.    

To highlight the problem, a group of researchers carried out a field survey, interviewing 327 people allergic to sesame to find out under what circumstances the allergic crises had occurred. In ca. 70% of reported reactions an anaphylactic crisis occurred, and in 85% of cases it happened to children.    

The study shows that most of the accidents (63%) occurred at home, after consuming foods that were not deemed dangerous. Only 11% of the reactions occurred at the restaurant, 5% at friends' houses and 4% at school. In 99% of cases, the crisis was caused by the ingestion of sesame, therefore, it was deduced that contact alone is much less dangerous.  

Researchers have shown that in 56% of cases, there was no indication of the presence of the allergen on the food packaging.    

To protect allergy sufferers from unforeseen and potentially very serious reactions, in Europe the main allergens, including sesame, must be reported on the label since 2014.