Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., is going after what he says is unnecessary sesame in foods, in a bipartisan effort to protect people with sesame allergies.
Wyden and several U.S. House members sent a letter Tuesday to the American Bakers Association, urging them to stop adding sesame to baked goods. They say sesame is a common allergen and this puts people at risk.
Congress passed the FASTER act which requires baking manufacturers to appropriately label products with sesame. The representatives say that bakers have not been doing so.
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“It is imperative that the baking industry take immediate action to address this issue. The health and safety of consumers should always be a top priority. The baking industry has a responsibility to protect the public, especially those with food allergies, and the intentional new addition of a known allergen to products goes against this responsibility. It’s time to act to rectify the situation,” the legislators said in their letter.
Food Allergy & Research Education says these foods can contain sesame:
- Asian cuisine (sesame oil is commonly used in cooking)
- Baked goods (such as bagels, bread, breadsticks, hamburger buns and rolls)
- Bread crumbs
- Cereals (such as granola and muesli)
- Chips (such as bagel chips, pita chips and tortilla chips)
- Crackers (such as melba toast and sesame snap bars)
- Dipping sauces (such as baba ghanoush, hummus and tahini sauce)
- Dressings, gravies, marinades and sauces
- Flavored rice, noodles, risotto, shish kebabs, stews and stir fry
- Goma-dofu (Japanese dessert)
- Herbs and herbal drinks
- Pasteli (Greek dessert)
- Processed meats and sausages
- Protein and energy bars
- Snack foods (such as pretzels, candy, Halvah, Japanese snack mix and rice cakes)
- Turkish cake
- Vegetarian burgers