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Friday, 14 December, 2001, 16:01 GMT
Warning over 'killer sweets'
Mini cup fruit jellies should be taken off the shelves 'immediately', says the FSA
Mini cup fruit jellies should be taken off the shelves 'immediately', says the FSA
Parents are being warned not to allow their children eating a type of sweet which could choke them to death.

Experts say mini cup fruit jelly sweets are the latest fad, but they have been linked to a number of deaths from choking around the world.

No deaths as yet have been reported in the UK.

Now, the Food Standards Agency and the Department of Trade and Industry are seeking the immediate removal of the sweets, which are imported from Asia, from sale.


These sweets are to be avoided and children should not buy or eat them."


Suzi Leather, Food Standards Agency
They say the warning is particularly important in the run-up to Christmas.

A FSA spokesman said: "This is the kind of thing that parents might see and want to use as a stocking filler - so we need to warn them not to.

"We know that in other countries, such as Canada, children have died as a result of choking on these."

Sticky ingrediant

The jellies come in dome-shaped foil-sealed cups that are about the size of individual mini pots of milk or coffee creamer, and can be sold in bags, plastic jars or individually.

They can usually be found in corner-shops.

The danger comes because children tend to suck out and effectively 'inhale' the sweet, which contains a soft, slippery type jelly with a hard, fruit flavoured gum at the centre, increasing the risk of choking.

The jellies contain a particular ingredient, konjac, which does not dissolve easily and could stay stuck in the throat.

The stickiness of the jelly makes it doubly difficult to extract the sweet from the throat if it does become lodged.

The FSA says the brands consumers should steer clear off include:

  • ABC Mini Fruit Bites
  • New Choice Mini Fruit Gels
  • Rolin Mango Jelly Cup

Some packets may be labelled with precautionary advice.

Warning

The FSA first received reports of the dangers of the jelly sweets in August.

The sweets come in a range of flavours
The sweets come in a range of flavours
It has issued its warning after investigations, and consultation with the Department of Health, the DTI and other countries where action is being taken.

Suzi Leather, deputy chair of the FSA, said: "The weight of evidence clearly indicates that these products present a risk to children. They should be removed from the market immediately.

"However, these sweets are on sale in many small corner shops and it may not be easy to ensure that they are all removed from shelves straightaway.

"So we want to alert parents to the potential risk and be very clear: these sweets are to be avoided and children should not buy or eat them."

More information is available from the FSA's website - www.food.gov.uk.

See also:

19 Sep 01 | Health
Pyre milk given all-clear
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