In light of sesame becoming the ninth major food allergen under the Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research Act (FASTER Act), the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA’s FSIS) has revised its instructions to inspection program personnel (IPP) for performing allergen formulation verification in the Public Health Information System (PHIS).
IPP verify that establishments are accurately controlling and labeling the nine most common (Big 9) food allergens in meat, including Siluriformes products (catfish), poultry, and egg products. FSIS is reissuing the directive Ongoing Verification of Product Formulation and Labeling Targeting the Nine Most Common (Big 9) Food Allergens—Revision 3 to add sesame as the ninth major food allergen, clarify that the milk allergen is "cow's milk," and include an additional example for soy products.
When Big 9 food allergens or other ingredients are not properly declared on a product, FSIS may request the establishment voluntarily recall the affected product. FSIS analyses of previous instructions to the field and voluntary recalls connected to undeclared allergens revealed that misbranding usually occurred due to changes in ingredient suppliers, products in the wrong package or with misprinted labels, or changes to a product or ingredient formulation.