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Caithness News Bulletins September 2003

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Food Standards Agency    

Environmental Health officers with The Highland Council are issuing a further warning that children should not eat mini cup jelly sweets containing Konjac after more 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.  On this occasion the products found are called 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. 

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 importer of these products 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.

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.

Alan Yates, the 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.”

A warning was issued in July 2003 regarding 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 were sold under the brand name Sugarland.    It is illegal to sell jelly confectionery containing konjac.