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Sesame Allergy Becoming More Common Among Food Allergic Children

Sesame Allergy Becoming More Common Among Food Allergic Children

If you have a child with a food allergy, there's a good chance that he or she is allergic to sesame. A recent study found that 17% of children with food allergies may have a sesame allergy. This means that if your child has a food allergy, you should ask your doctor about testing for a sesame allergy. Sesame is an ingredient in many foods, so it's important to know if your child is allergic to it.

Like other food allergies, experiencing an allergic reaction to sesame can include any of the following symptoms: Flushed face, hives or a rash, red and itchy skin. Swelling of the eyes, face, lips, throat and tongue. Trouble breathing, speaking or swallowing.


Starting January 1, 2023, sesame will become the ninth major allergen that must be labeled in plain language on packaged foods in the U.S. (See FASTER act for more info.) While some manufacturers have already begun labeling for sesame, they are not required to do so. The Big 8 Crate features a top 8 + sesame free snack box where you can find lots of new snack brands who are diligent about keeping sesame out of their facilities.

If you have a sesame allergy or believe you may be sensitive to it, it is important to practice strict avoidance to prevent a reaction. Sesame ingredients can be listed by many uncommon names, including:

  • Sesamum indicum
  • Benne, benniseed
  • Halvah
  • Tahini, Tahina, Tehina

Sesame is common in many cuisines but especially Asian and Middle Eastern. It is also commonly found in baked goods such as bagels, crackers and breads. 

It can be found in some surprising places, so in order to prevent an allergic reaction to sesame, always read food labels and ask for a list of ingredients before eating any food that you have not prepared yourself.