About Allergies


Quick Facts

  • Sesame seeds can be creamy white or charcoal black in colour.
  • Sesame oil is dark in colour and is commonly used in Asian dishes.
  • Sesame is considered a priority allergen by Health Canada.

Be Allergy-Aware

  • Read ingredient labels every time you buy or eat a product.
  • Do The Triple Check and read the label:
    • Once at the store before buying it.
    • Once when you get home and put it away.
    • Again before you serve or eat the product.
  • Always carry your epinephrine auto-injector.
  • For tips on eating out, visit our guide for dining out with food allergies.
  • Check with manufacturers directly to see if the product is safe for you even if your allergen is not listed on the ingredient list.
  • Be careful when buying products from abroad since labelling rules differ from country to country.

Other names for sesame

  • Benne, benne seed, benniseed
  • Gingelly, gingelly oil
  • Seeds
  • Sesamol, sesamolina
  • Sesamum indicum
  • Sim sim
  • Tahini (sesame paste)
  • Til

Possible sources of sesame

  • Baked goods like hamburger buns, breads, bagels, cookies, flatbreads
  • Bread crumbs, bread sticks, cereals, crackers, melba toast
  • Dips and patés
  • Dressings, gravies, marinades, salads, sauces, soups
  • Falafel
  • Flavoured rice, noodles, soups
  • Granola and muesli
  • Halvah
  • Herbs, seasoning, spices
  • Hummus
  • Margarine
  • Processed meats, sausages
  • Risotto (rice dish)
  • Sesame oil, sesame salt
  • Shish kebabs, stews, stir fries
  • Snack foods: chips, pretzels, rice cakes, granola bars, candy
  • Tempeh
  • Vegetarian burgers
  • Vegetable oil (may contain sesame oil)

Non-food sources of sesame

  • Adhesive bandages
  • Cosmetics, hair care products, perfumes, soaps, sun screens
  • Medications
  • Fungicides
  • Insecticides
  • Lubricants, ointments, topical oils
  • Pet food
  • Sesame meal in poultry and livestock feed

To Report a Reaction

If you believe you may have reacted to an allergen not listed on the packaging, you can report it to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency which may issue a product recall. Find out more on our Food Labelling page.

Download a printable PDF of this page.