A new study warns sesame allergy cases are on the rise. New data reveals over one million children and adults in the US are living with the allergy. It has reportedly become the ninth most common allergy across the United States (US).
Sesame is not often included in some food label as the food manufacturers are only required to report on the top eight allergens, according to theFood Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act of 2014. “It is important to advocate for labelling sesame in packaged food. Sesame is in a lot of foods as hidden ingredients. It is very hard to avoid,” study author Dr Ruchi Gupta, professor of paediatrics and medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, told a news portal.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the US is currently considering adding sesame to the list of food allergens that should be reported on labels. “[The] Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America believes the FDA has authority to add sesame to the list of major allergens, and we encourage them to do so,” Sanaz Eftekhari, vice president of corporate affairs and research at the AAFA, told a news portal. Adding,“It is difficult for consumers to avoid an allergen that isn’t labelled in plain language by its common name. It can also be difficult to identify the cause of an allergic reaction if you are unsure of all of the ingredients in a food that triggered a reaction."
Some experts speculate the consumption of sesame-containing products has become popular and maybe the reason for the rise in sesame allergy cases. “Years ago it wasn’t so available, and now it’s readily available,” Dr Michael Pistiner, director of food allergy advocacy, education, and prevention at MassGeneral Hospital for Children, told a news portal.
Exposure to sesame can cause a reaction that is either mild or fatal. “Patients do not realize how prominent this allergy is since it does not have the same public awareness of peanut and tree nuts, although it is just as dangerous,” Dr Stacey Galowitz, an allergy specialist in New Jersey, told a news portal. Adding, “They also do not often realize how prevalent sesame is in everyday foods and what types of products their kids may react to."
Sesame is a popular ingredient that can be found in many food items. “It is frequently present in Japanese spices and seasonings, most notably furikake or shichimi togarashi, which are common table spices analogous to our salt and pepper, and often imported, so therefore don’t have sesame labeled in English,”Christopher M. Warren, a fellow author and epidemiologist the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine’s Center for Food Allergy & Asthma Research, told a news portal.
“Many ethnic and vegetarian foods and snack foods could have sesame mixed into foods as tahini (sesame paste) or oils, and so the individual seeds would not be seen,” Dr. Scott H. Sicherer, a fellow study author and professor of pediatrics and director of the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, told a news portal
The best way to protect yourself and family is to consult with a doctor regarding sesame products and your risk of the allergy. The study's findings were originally published in JAMA Network Open.
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