OTTAWA, November 28, 2001 – The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is expanding a warning issued on November 24, 2001 related to mini- cup jelly products with Konjac listed as an ingredient as they pose a choking hazard. Konjac on the list of ingredients may also be identified as glucomannan, konyak, konjac gum, konyac, conjac, or konnuyaku. The expanded warning is to inform consumers of additional importers and products (see attached tables – http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/recarapp/2001/20011128e.shtml#li ) that have been added to the current list as posted on the CFIA web site. The CFIA is working with the importers to recall these products from the marketplace.
A mandatory recall order has been issued that requires all persons selling, marketing or distributing the product to recall it immediately. Failure to comply with this order can result in fines of up to $50,000 or a jail term or both. The CFIA is continuing to work toward having all affected product removed from the marketplace.
The affected products are distributed nationally and are sold under various brand names. These products are sold in various package sizes. If mini-cup jelly products are being offered for sale individually and do not have a list of ingredients, consumers should ask the retailer to provide the list of ingredients from the original packaging. Consumers should then verify that the product does not contain any Konjac. As the CFIA investigation
continues, the list of brand names and importers will be updated as necessary.
There have been reported fatalities associated with the consumption of these products in Canada, the United States, Australia, and various Asian countries. These mini-cup jelly products may become lodged in the throat and may be difficult to remove due to their size, shape, and consistency.
Mini-cup jelly products are traditionally manufactured in South-east Asia. Individual jellies are about the size of a coffee creamer with a rounded edge. Konjac which is the binding agent of these products, is made from the root of the konnyaku plant. It is the ingredient that takes the place of gelatin in the recalled candies.
There are some products on the market which do not contain Konjac and are not a part of the recall order.
For more information, consumers and industry can call the CFIA at one of the following numbers:
In the province of Quebec 1-800-561-3350; or
In other provinces and territories 1-800-442-2342.