Phenylalanine is a normal constituent of protein in foods and presents no problems for the vast majority of the population. However, up to 5000 people in the UK suffer from PKU and cannot freely consume foods that contain it, including foods sweetened with aspartame. For this reason all products containing aspartame are required to be specially labelled.
The mislabelled products are:
We advise PKU sufferers and their families to check their cupboards to see whether they have inadvertently purchased these products.
Coca-Cola GB have placed advertisements in national newspapers to inform consumers who may have purchased the affected products. The Agency has discussed the scope of the problem with Coca-Cola GB and is taking additional steps to inform PKU sufferers through hospital clinics.
Although we welcome the action taken by the manufacturer, it is nevertheless disappointing that this mistake was made. We therefore take this opportunity to remind all food manufacturers and retailers that it is a legal requirement for the wording "contains a source of phenylalanine" to appear on the labels of all products that contain the sweetener aspartame (E951).