Deadly Fruit Gel Candies

When we want to emphasize something in writing, we use bold, italics, underline, or end the sentence with an ! When the US Food and Drug Administration wants to emphasize something, they issue a second alert. On August 17, 2001, the FDA issued a warning about particular gel candies after they had caused the deaths of three children.

Since then, in consultation with the Consumer Products Safety Commission they have concluded that they posed such a serious choking hazard that a second warning was necessary, which was issued on October 5, 2001.

The danger is from mini-cup gel candies containing the ingredient “konjac” (also called conjac, konnyaku, yam flour, or glucomannan). The candies come in a variety of fruit flavors. They are typically packaged as individual, mouth-sized servings, and often contain a chunk of preserved fruit. They are about he same size as are coffee creamer cups.

Unlike gelatin products commonly found in the US, these candies do not readily dissolve when placed in the mouth.

The choking risk is greatest for children and for the elderly.

Published on: October 09, 2001
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Dr. Greene is a practicing physician, author, national and international TEDx speaker, and global health advocate. He is a graduate of Princeton University and University of California San Francisco.
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