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Caithness News Bulletins July 2003
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|UK Food Standards Agency|
COUNCIL WARNS ABOUT POTENTIAL CHOKING HAZARD
TO CHILDREN FROM BANNED SWEETS
The Highland Council’s Environmental Health service is today warning that children should not eat mini cup 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. Products called Jellyace Lychee Flavor Konjac and a similar mini-cup sweet called Jellyace Buko Pandan, labelled as containing konjac, were found in England and Wales. These Jellyace products are sold under the brand name Sugarland. Parents should be alert to the potential risk from these sweets and children should not buy or eat them.
The sweets contain the additive Konjac. Jelly sweets made with this ingredient do not dissolve easily and can result in the sweets becoming stuck in a child's throat. The European ban makes the use of Konjac in jelly confectionery illegal.
The only known distributor, Milagrosa, has stopped distributing these products from its warehouse in London. The sweets are known to have been distributed to outlets in England and Wales. There is no indication that the product has been distributed to Scotland but retailers and consumers should be vigilant.
In both Jellyace products, the jelly is contained in a dome-shaped plastic cup, similar to a coffee creamer container, with a peel-off foil lid. The sweets are sold in 192g packs, each containing 12 sweets.
Other packets of Jellyace Buko Pandan have been found which are labelled as containing locust bean gum, an alternative gelling agent, instead of Konjac. These are legal. Consumers should check the label. The manufacturer of all these products is the San Miguel Corporation, a food, beverage and packaging company based in the Philippines.
Alan Yates, The Highland Council’s Principal Food Safety Officer, said: “If any retailers or members of the public find these products they should contact their local environmental health office or their nearest Council Service Point. Retailers should ensure the product is removed from sale.”