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Media Room June 20, 2024

Timeline and Statements by FARE and Sung Poblete, PhD, RN, CEO of FARE, Regarding Public Assertion Made by Lynsi Snyder, Owner and President of In-N-Out Burger


On Saturday, June 15, In-N-Out owner and president Lynsi Snyder posted incorrect information about sesame allergy on her Instagram page in response to a sincere comment and request from a concerned food allergy mom. Specifically, when asked about In-N-Out’s decision to source buns from suppliers that have intentionally added sesame flour to their products, Snyder wrote:

Unfortunately trying to find bakeries that will do Sponge and dough alone is challenging. My son has a sesame allergy and the amount in our buns is safe. The key is to not deprive them completely of the allergen or it becomes more deadly. I’m not a doctor, but it’s not as drastic as some are making it.

Snyder owns and leads a fast-food restaurant chain, based in California, with 400 locations across eight states. Her comment comes shortly after the June 12 notification of the company’s recent contract baker purchasing decisions that deprive customers with sesame allergy of what had previously been a safe dining experience.

This is a screenshot of the original notice:


The food allergy mom who made the original comment and request to source sesame-free buns and others in the food allergy community shared their concerns along with FARE CEO, Sung Poblete, PhD, RN who amplified those concerns on the FARE Instagram account saying:

"As the leading food allergy nonprofit, FARE is deeply concerned by this troubling, dangerous and public assertion made by Lynsi Snyder, Owner and President of In-N-Out, that the amount of sesame in In-N-Out Burger buns is safe for people with a sesame allergy. We cannot let this comment stand.

Each individual has their own food allergy reaction sensitivity and what is safe for one may cause a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction for another. We think that it is disingenuous in the worst possible way to portray that it’s “not as drastic as some are making it.” We all know that the underlying issue is bakers adding sesame flour to plain products to avoid having to properly clean manufacturing lines.

Let’s talk, because the food allergy community is also a significant consumer group of more than 33 million people in the U.S. and we would like to see In-N-Out Burger earn the trust of our community rather than dismiss its concerns.”

FARE has reached out to In-N-Out through multiple channels to invite a conversation as has the food allergy mom whose genuine comment and request prompted this chain of events.

June 18, Newsweek published an article publicizing this incident and quoting Dr. Poblete’s statement.

June 18, @InNOut posted the following:

“At In-N-Out Burger, the safety of our Customers and the quality of our products are our most important priorities. As of June 12th, buns served at our locations in Texas and Colorado now contain a small amount of sesame flour (less than 2% of ingredients). Buns served in locations in the other six states will remain free of sesame.

We source our hamburger buns from multiple bakeries that each use shared production areas. Following the FDA declaration of sesame as a major allergen, we have found that many bakeries in the industry cannot ensure that buns baked in their facilities are sesame-free. Due to the potential for cross-contamination that exists in the bakery, many suppliers have added a minimal amount of sesame flour to their recipes.

As mentioned, the safety of our Customers is our priority, so an update on allergen information has been made in our restaurants and on our website. We encourage anyone with concerns about sesame to consult a doctor.

While we understand that this change is undesirable for many of our Customers, we thank you for your understanding and sincerely apologize for needing to make this update.”

June 18, along with In-N-Out Burger’s Instagram post, a new post to Snyder’s personal Instagram account was added:

“As a mom of children with allergies, I completely understand the seriousness of allergies. I also recognize the difficulty of eating out when you have a child with allergies. My children always carry EpiPens as a precaution.


Despite our considerable effort to not let this industrywide issue affect our Customers, In-N-Out is no longer able to keep sesame-free buns in supply in all eight states. Unfortunately, that means that buns in our Texas and Colorado restaurants will now contain a small amount of sesame flour (less than 2% of the ingredients). Hamburger buns in our other six states will remain sesame-free.

I understand this news is very disappointing to those who live with allergies. In-N-Out is committed to purchasing high-quality buns made using slow-rising sponge dough, without preservatives, using granulated sugar. Our suppliers don’t use more common alternatives like batter, liquid sugar, or lard in our buns. Pushing back against industry trends in the name of higher quality is something we have done for over seven decades, but the addition of sesame flour has become such a standard among bakeries that we are unable to overcome it at this time.

Although my son has a sesame allergy, we’ve learned the small amount of sesame flour in the hamburger buns does not cause a reaction in him. However, I know every individual’s body reacts differently to allergens. I encourage those with concerns about sesame to consult with your doctor. When in doubt, please know that you can order any hamburger at In-N-Out “protein style,” and it will be free of a bun and instead wrapped in fresh hand-leafed lettuce.”

In-N-Out released an updated notification June 18 that shares hamburger buns served at locations in Texas and Colorado will contain “a small amount of sesame flour…”.


It appears that the comments and request from a food allergy mom, the response from the food allergy community, together with FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) amplifying those voices have enabled two important changes:  

  1. There has been a shift in Ms. Snyder’s language about the potential severity of a life-threatening anaphylactic reaction from their buns that contain intentionally added sesame flour; and
  2. Texas and Colorado will not serve sesame free buns. Buns served in six states will remain sesame free.

June 18, FARE’s Sung Poblete shared the following response:

“Your acknowledgment that what is safe for one may not be safe for all is important. However, if sizeable food service companies like In-N-Out were to require their suppliers that they must provide a sesame-free option, we are confident those suppliers would find a way to remain your suppliers and refrain from intentional addition of sesame flour contrary to the spirit of the FASTER Act. In-N-Out and other organizations have the influence to make this happen. Please exercise that influence and make the world friendlier again for those with sesame allergy. The food allergy community shouldn't have to deserve less.”

Let’s say that again. The food allergy community shouldn’t have to deserve less.

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About FARE

FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is the nation’s leading non-profit engaged in food allergy advocacy and the largest food allergy charity supporting research. FARE’s innovative education, advocacy and research initiatives transform the future of food allergy through new and improved treatments and prevention strategies, effective policies and legislation, and novel approaches to managing the disease. To learn more, visit: foodallergy.org.

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