Sesame Allergies: Just What Are They?


Sesame allergies seem like something that isn’t common, but it is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people now. Majority of children who develop sesame allergies will not outgrow them. Sesame allergies have been on the rise in the past few decades and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has not included it in the list of allergy-causing foods for labeling. The FDA is in progress of naming sesame as the top 9th allergen.

The symptoms of sesame allergies are:

  • Asthma

  • Anaphylaxis

  • Hives

  • Coughing

  • Hoarse voice

  • Pain in the abdomen

  • Nausea

Those with sesame allergies typically have mild reactions. However, 15 percent of children with sesame allergies can have severe reactions, especially for those with poorly controlled asthma. Always be on the look out for anaphylaxitic reactions to sesame and other foods. Those with peanut allergies may have sesame allergies as well, and vice-versa. When avoiding sesame, its best to be cautious around food from the Middle East or Asia, as they frequently contain sesame oil. Many bakeries can sell items with sesame seed toppings, which increases the risk of cross contamination. Avoiding anything with sesame, like seeds, oil and tahini, is needed for those with sesame allergies.

It is also good to watch out for:

  • Baked goods

  • Cereals

  • Processed meats (like sausage)

  • Turkish cake or baklava

  • Sushi

  • Sauces

  • Melba Toast

  • Tortillas

  • Falafel

  • Soups

  • Herbs

  • Flavored rice, noodles, risotto, stews and stir fry

  • Energy and Protein bars

  • Snack foods

Sesame can be found in some spices and flavor blends. If you are not sure if a spice has sesame, do call the manufacturer to ask if sesame is used specifically as an ingredient. If you have a sesame allergy, you may want to be wary of pharmaceutical and cosmetic items, as some use sesame in their products.

Do you know someone who has sesame allergies? If yes, how do they handle their allergies? Comment below and share your stories! Share this blog with someone who wants to learn about sesame allergies!

Stef PenrodComment