Food Law News - UK - 2003

FSA Press Release (2003/0410), 16 September 2003

ADDITIVES - Agency updates warning about banned konjac sweets

The Food Standards Agency is today renewing its warning that children should not eat mini fruit jelly sweets containing konjac after two of these illegal products were found on sale in the UK. This type of sweet was banned across Europe last year following the deaths from choking of about 18 children worldwide.

During a recent routine check, trading standards officers found that a cash-and-carry store in Watford was selling ABC Mini Fruit Bites and Cocode Nut Jellies, both of which contain konjac. Parents should be alert to the potential risk from these sweets and children should not buy or eat them. Jelly sweets made with konjac do not dissolve easily and this can result in the sweet becoming stuck in a child's throat. This led to the ban being imposed on the use of konjac in jelly confectionery.
The importer has now ceased trading and is no longer distributing these products from its premises in Manchester. It is not known how widely these products may have been distributed. The Agency has asked local authorities across the UK to visit local shops to ensure that if any of these products are found, they are removed from sale.

In both products, the jelly is contained in a dome-shaped plastic cup, similar to a coffee creamer container, with a peel-off lid. The ABC Mini Fruit Bites sweets are sold in 1 kilogram jars or individually. The Cocode Nut Jellies are sold in 408 gram bags in various flavours, described as mango, taro, longan and guei ling gau on the packaging. The manufacturer of all these products is Tsang Lin Industries Ltd in Taiwan.

To go to main Foodlaw-Reading Index page, click here.