Why This Bagel Is Becoming More Dangerous

Hint: hummus, sushi, and falafel often carry the same risk
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 18, 2009 9:20 AM CDT
Sesame seeds are showing up more and more often in American cuisine: here, seared tuna is encrusted with a sesame coating.   (©FotoosVanRobin)
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(Newser) – If you often suffer a reaction soon after eating burgers or hummus, it might be time to get checked out for one of the fastest-growing allergies in the US: sesame seeds. Experts link the spike in allergies to the increasing popularity of sesame-rich foods like falafel and tahini—but the Food and Drug Administration isn’t especially concerned, reports WebMD.

But don’t panic yet: In one study, all but one of the sufferers had a strong family predisposition to allergies. And while kids with allergies to tree nuts have three times the risk of bad reactions to sesame, there’s no simple blood or skin test: The best way to diagnose the allergy is to eat the seeds, and wait. (Read more food allergies stories.)