Updated January 10, 2009(Original article posted December 25, 2008)
The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has posted a series of Consumer Alerts in the past week, warning about the choking hazard associated with mini-jelly cups that contain konjac, a gelling agent.
The contents of the mini-jelly cups – popular in Asian communities – are liable to become lodged in the throat, due to the size and consistency of the jelly. According to CFIA, swallowing the jelly without breaking it into smaller pieces has, in the past, resulted in fatalities.
Consumers should be aware of the potential hazard associated with the following products, especially when consumed by children.
- Nata De Coco in Konnyaku Jelly, Lychee Flavor. Sold in plastic bags with Japanese text and a bilingual sticker. Each bag contains 12 mini cups approximately the size of individual-serving coffee creamers, and bears UPC 4 560124 220389.
- Three Fish Bidrico coconut/fruit jelly cups. Sold in 1 Kg bear-shaped plastic jar containing assorted flavors of mini-cups. The jars are labeled with UPC 4 560124 220389.
- Three Fish Bidrico Assorted Flavor Coconut Jelly. Sold in 1 Kg bear-shaped plastic jars labeled with UPC 6 92948 03009 8. NEW Jan 10
- Rau Câu Bidrico Assorted Flavours Mixed Fruit Jelly. Sold in 500 g flexible plastic pouch labeled with UPC 8 935051 800571. NEW Jan 10
The Nata de Coco was imported by Daiso Store Canada Ltd. (Richmond, BC) and was sold only in the Daiso Store at Hazel Bridge Way, Richmond, BC. Daiso has initiated a recall of the product from the marketplace.
The Three Fish cups were imported from Vietnam by Seng Fung Distribution & Marketing Ltd. (Vancouver, BC) and sold in stores in Alberta and British Columbia. The importer has initiated a voluntary product recall.
The choking hazard associated with jelly cups that contain konjac has been known for many years. FDA issued a series of consumer alerts on these products in 2001 and 2002.
To minimize the risk of choking when eating the mini-jelly cups, consumers should break the jelly into small pieces, according to CFIA.
Mini-jelly cups that are produced using gelling agents other than konjac are not covered by this Consumer Alert. For more information, contact CFIA at 1-800-442-2343, Monday to Friday (except holidays), between 8:00 am and 8:00 pm, EST.