Importer and distributor Sony Trading Pty Ltd has offered the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission court enforceable undertakings after supplying banned mini jelly cups.
ACCC deputy chair, Peter Kell said mouth-sized jelly cups containing konjac had been banned in Australian since 2002 because they are a choking hazard.
The products are dangerous because the konjac means the jelly substance does not readily dissolve when eaten. As the jelly is sucked directly from the cup the jelly can lodge in the throat and act like a plug which blocks air supply. Since 1995, at least 17 people around the world have died after choking on mini jelly cups.
Sony Trading imported approximately 960 units of Wong Coco mini jelly cup products containing konjac. Each cup was approximately 38mm wide and 21mm high.
Nine Asian grocery retailers in the Sydney metropolitan and Central Coast regions of New South Wales purchased the banned stock from Sony Trading between August 2008 and August 2009.
Sony Trading has been cooperative in resolving the matter and has:
- notified retailers who purchased the Wong Coco jelly products which were subject to the ban and requested that they withdraw them from sale,
- undertaken a full product recall and notification on 1 October 2009 through the Recalls Australia website, www.recalls.gov.au, and
- provided refunds to consumers.
Mr Kell urged consumers which had any mini jelly cups to check the label for konjac, also known as glucomannan, conjac, konnyaku, konjonac, taro powder and yam flour.
"If you have any mini jelly cups with these ingredients do not eat them — instead you should return them to the store as soon as possible and ask for a refund."
"Young children with smaller throats and older people who have trouble swallowing are at particular risk of choking if they eat these jellies.
"Despite the ban, the ACCC is still finding suppliers selling the cups and has recently worked with four other major Asian food importers to ensure no mini jelly cups with konjac are sold," Mr Kell said.
"To protect consumers and your business reputation all importers, wholesalers, distributors and retailers must avoid these banned jelly cups at all costs."
The ACCC has asked suppliers to check orders and current stocks for the banned jelly cups and if they have any immediately call 1300 302 502 to arrange a voluntary recall.
Details of the Sony Trading product recall are available at www.recalls.gov.au. Consumers and suppliers can also register to be alerted about new recalls on this website.
Mr Brent Rebecca, Media, (02) 6243 1317 or 0408 995 408
Release # NR 026/10
Infocentre 1300 302 502