The Food Standards Agency (FSA) is today repeating its advice that children should not eat certain mini cup fruit jelly products that contain Konjac because of the risk of choking on the sweets.

The products have been linked to a number of deaths from choking around the world.

This further warning comes following the death of a young child in February in the UK. The cause of death is not yet known and is subject to an inquest which has not yet been held. However, the fact that a minicup gel sweet may have been a factor in the death cannot be excluded at this stage.

FSA deputy chair Suzi Leather said: "The FSA warned in December that these particular sweets present a risk to children. We said that they should be removed from sale immediately. Parents should be alert to the potential risk from these sweets and children should not buy or eat them.

"There may still be some of these sweets on sale and shops that have not heeded our warning should stop selling them now. Local authorities should also check again that they are not on sale locally and continue with that checking. "

These sweets have often been sold in many small corner shops and possibly stalls at street markets. In December local authorities were advised to visit shops and check that they were being taken off the shelves. Port authorities were also alerted.

"Last month, containers at Southampton Docks holding 57,000 Malaysian made Konnyaku jelly sweets were confiscated during a joint operation by Southampton Trading Standards and the Port Health Authority.

The sweets have a number of different brand names including:
ABC Mini Fruit Bites
Fuji Coconut Flavor Jelly
Healthy Konnyaku jelly
Jn Jin Konjac Coconut Mini Gel Snack
New Choice Mini Fruit Gels
New Century's Choice
Rolin Mango Jelly Cup
Troofy Gels

The following are not necessarily brand names, but are probably manufacturers, since the brand names were not given in English.

Mong Lee Shang (China) Fruit Jelly
Jian Fu Trading Co. (Taiwan) Lichee Jelly
 
The jellies are contained in cups about the size of individual mini pots of milk or coffee creamer. They are dome-shaped with a diameter of about 3cm tapering to 2cm. They have a rounded edge and are sealed with a foil lid. The sweets are sold in various package sizes (eg bags, plastic jars) or individually. Some packets may be labelled with precautionary advice.

Children tend to suck out and effectively 'inhale' the sweet, which contains a soft, slippery type jelly and usually contain a hard, fruit flavoured gum at the centre. This increases the risk of choking. The jellies contain a particular ingredient, konjac, which does not dissolve easily and could stay stuck in the throat.