Sesame seeds missing on your favorite hamburger buns? The FDA now requires them to be listed as potential allergens

Originally published at: Sesame seeds missing on your favorite hamburger buns? The FDA now requires them to be listed as potential allergens | Boing Boing


Meh, I hate sesame seeds on buns. They fall off.

However, if we could just get garlic filled things labeled? I’d be so grateful. Garlic is my mortal enemy.


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Eh, hated the little buggers getting lodged in car seat anyway. Not missed.

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My local, preferred grocer has at least 3 brands that have both seeded and unseeded buns (in stock according to the app). I haven’t noticed a warning, but I usually opt for unseeded.

Wow, did not know sesame was a major allergen. It is a pretty important ingredient in a lot of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Asian foods. I made a mole from scratch a while back and was surprised to find sesame seeds are a common ingredient in those, too. Food allergies are weird and they suck. I’ve had my a few over my lifetime–some have gone away, but some still linger.


Always bummed when I can’t find seared Ahi where they’re willing to not put seeds all over it. Never been a fan.


I’ve also seen articles saying this has resulted in adding sesame seeds to things. It’s easier to add and warn than to try to remove contaminants from the line.


Yeah - I wondered that too. Those places just removing sesame seeds must have gone through a deep clean and decontamination before starting up again.

(Yeah, right!)


I fully support the new labelling laws (and think @beschizza 's comment about “Pseudohypoallegenic” unfair, as I know someone very allergic to sesame).

However, I’m pretty confused that the solution Trader Joe’s had was the remove the sesame seeds, rather than simply add “contains sesame” to the package.

Surely no one was buying sesame buns unaware that they contained sesame seeds, so the new labelling isn’t going to lose them any customers.

Perhaps they already had 10 million bags printed out, and they figured it was cheaper (less wasteful?) to simply empty the sesame seed dispenser in the bun machine, rather than print out new bags? And then when they have run through those bags they’ll turn the seed dispenser back on?

(Of course, then the old bags would still include sesame as an ingredient, so this seems unlikely.)

If that’s not the explanation, then I’m guessing that TJ’s simply decided customers don’t like sesame seeds. Again, nothing in the FDA rule requires foods not to contain sesame.


“Hypoallergenic” refers to articles, in this case buns, that don’t contain allergens. @beschizza’s use of “pseudo” indicates, as I read it, a certain skepticism about how effective Trader Joe’s measures will be.

We just discovered that our grandson, age 15 months, is dangerously allergic to sesame, something I hadn’t heard of before. It was only 2-3 weeks later that the FDA made its announcement.

Of course, this means that my daughter and her husband can’t shop in most local bakeries, since almost all of them have some products containing sesame which could cross-contaminate anything they sell.


The bags are in plastic bags, so not cross-containing with things in the store.

If they are made in a factory that also uses sesame, or had a chance of containing sesame, then they must say so, by the new FDA regulation.

If you are suggesting that TJ’s is letting it get cross-contained and not putting that risk on the label, then that’s a much more serious accusation, from the FDA standpoint.

In any case, it makes it even more confusing as to why TJ’s wouldn’t simply keep the sesame seeds, and label the bag.

I was talking about local bakeries, who may well have sesame seeds lying around the store.


Dibs on yours!


Same here, bring it on!

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Sure, but I was commenting on this part:

a certain skepticism about how effective Trader Joe’s measures will be.

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So we can regulate McDonald’s into worrying about the health impact of the buns on a Big Mac, but not the rest of it?


They’ll just label them.

“May contain traces of beef”


It’s pretty easy to cook yourself. Slather whatever spices you like one each side, heat a small amount of olive or avocado oil, cook about 4 minutes on each side on medium-high heat. :woman_shrugging:

Anyway, more on topic, it sure seems it would’ve been simpler to add a warning to the “classic” bun instead of changing them. The buns could be like my preferred type of peanut butter - ingredients: peanuts; WARNING: contains peanuts. :smirk: