Importer stops trade in banned mini jelly cups

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 25th February 2010

The ACCC has today received a court-enforceable undertaking from importer and distributor Sony Trading Pty Ltd to stop distribution of banned mini jelly cups.

The jelly cups, which contain the non-dissolving gelling agent konjac, were banned in 2002 after a number of widely publicised choking deaths in the US.  According to the ACCC, 17 deaths have been linked to the product worldwide after the jellies, which are sucked directly from the cup, became lodged in the victims’ airways.

Sony trading imported around 960 units of Wong Coco mini jelly cups, which were supplied to nine Asian grocery retailers in the Sydney metropolitan and Central Coast areas of New South Wales between August 2008 and August 2009.

ACCC deputy chair Peter Kell urged consumers who 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.”

Konjac products, which are a staple of Japanese, Chinese and Korean cuisines, remain available in Australia as jelly confectionary in sizes over 45mm, and as savoury cakes or noodles.  In Japan, konjac is widely used as a diet food because of its extremely low calorie content and filling consistency.