New Choice brand 'Mini Fruity Gels' (jelly mini-cups) - potential choking hazard

Last updated:
22 January 2014

Type: Food Alert: for Action

Ref: 01/2014

During a routine inspection of a Vietnamese supermarket in the London area, an environmental health officer discovered 'New Choice' brand 'Mini Fruity Gels' on sale.

Jelly mini-cups are not permitted to contain a number of additives, including 'alginic acid' (E400), 'agar' (E406), 'Carrageenan' (E407) and 'processed euchema seaweed' (407a) as they may pose a choking hazard. As these additives are included in this product they are in breach of the legislation.

Despite investigations by the enforcement authorities, it has not been possible to obtain full distribution details or product traceability records for these products.

Identification of the product

  • New Choice brand 'Tropical' and 'Taro' Mini Fruity Gels
  • All dates and batch codes

To assist officers in correctly identifying this product, pictures of the product are attached to this alert.

Advice to consumers

If you have purchased any products with the above packaging information, please do not eat them.

Actions to be taken by enforcement authorities

The use in jelly mini-cups of certain additives specified in Annex II of Regulation 1333/2008 is prohibited, jelly mini-cups are defined as 'confectionery of a firm consistence, contained in semi-rigid mini-cups or mini-capsules, intended to be ingested in a single bite by exerting pressure on the mini-cup or mini-capsule to project the confectionery into the mouth'.

In addition, the use of konjac in all jelly confectionery, including jelly mini-cups, and the sale of such confectionery, is prohibited under Regulation 1333/2008. These provisions are enforced by way of The Food Additives, Flavourings, Enzymes and Extraction Solvents (England) Regulations 2013.

Local authorities are requested to make contact with the relevant retailers in their area who may sell the implicated products. If implicated products are found during the course of their investigations, enforcement officers should ensure that the products are removed from sale and destroyed, if necessary using powers available to them under the Food Safety Act 1990 and should require the food business operator to display a point of sale notice advising consumers what action to take if they have purchased the implicated product. In addition, the local authorities are requested to investigate the traceability of these products and provide any information or copies of the documents to the FSA.