Mini fruit gel sweets containing konjac
Tuesday 8 July 2003
Category B: For Action
Food hazard warnings were previously issued in 2001 and 2002 highlighting the potential choking hazard posed by mini fruit gel sweets containing konjac.
These jelly confectionery products were banned in the UK under the following legislation in April 2002.
- The Food (Jelly Confectionery) (Emergency Control) (England) Regulations 2002
- The Food (Jelly Confectionery) (Emergency Control) (Wales) Regulations 2002
- The Food (Jelly Confectionery) (Emergency Control) (Scotland) Regulations 2002
- The Food (Jelly Confectionery) (Emergency Control) (Northern Ireland) Regulations 2002
This legislation prohibits the carrying out of any commercial operation with respect to any jelly confectionery which contains E425 Konjac gum or Konjac glucomannane.
They also prohibit the use of E425 Konjac gum or Konjac glucomannane in the manufacture of any jelly confectionery which is intended for human consumption.
The Food Standards Agency has been made aware that mini fruit gel sweets containing konjac have been imported and distributed recently to retailers in the UK. The manufacturer is the San Miguel Corporation, a food, beverage and packaging company based in the Philippines.
There are some mini fruit gel products on the market which do not contain konjac. These products are not affected by this alert.
Action to be taken by enforcement authorities:
Food businesses that may sell mini fruit gel sweets or other jelly confectionery products should be identified and contacted or visited. They should be informed that in terms of the above Regulations it is illegal to sell jelly confectionery which contains E425: Konjac and these products must be removed from sale immediately.
Enforcement officers should be prepared to take formal enforcement action as specified in the Regulations.
The following products are specifically affected by this alert:
- Sugarland brand Jellyace Lychee Flavor Konjac mini-cup jelly product sold in a 192g package containing 12 units.
- Sugarland brand Jellyace Buko Pandan mini-cup jelly product sold in a 192g package containing 12 units.
It should be noted that there are Jellyace Buko Pandan products on sale that do not contain Konjac. The main distinction between the two products are:
1. In the ingredients list for the non Konjac product 'locust bean gum' is listed as an ingredient and
2. Below the ingredients list for the non Konjac product the symbol 'halal' appears on the package.
The individual jellies are about the size of a coffee creamer with a rounded edge. Konjac Powder, which is the thickening agent for these products, is made from the root of the konnyaku plant.
Examples of the Sugarland brand Jellyace Lychee Flavor Konjac packaging are available below.
Enforcement authorities are again encouraged to use local media coverage.
The FSA has issued a press release which may be used by enforcement authorities as a guide for any local news release.
Port Health Authorities who discover imports of mini fruit gel sweets or other jelly confectionery products containing Konjac are requested to take appropriate action under the relevant The Food (Jelly Confectionery) (Emergency Control) Regulations 2002 to ensure the sweets are not distributed.
Action taken by the FSA:
The FSA has issued a press statement as below.