February 12, 2002Korean Farm Has Recalled Assi Brand
Mini-Cup Gel Candies Due to Choking Hazard
- The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said that Rhee Bros., Inc. and
Korean Farm Inc., have recalled mini-cup gel candies because they represent
a choking hazard. This candy was distributed in California, Washington,
Oregon, New Mexico, Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Arkansas, Utah, Maryland, and
South Dakota to Korean and Asian Markets. It is sold under the name of Assi,
and the label describes the product as "mini fruity gels." The candy comes
in small sealed plastic cups that contain gelatin (with or without a chunk
of fruit). Product is identified as being imported by: Rhee Bros., Inc.,
Columbia, MD 21046 and Korean Farm Inc., Santa Fe Springs, CA 80870.
These candies contain the ingredient "konjac" (also known as conjac,
konnyaku, yam flour, or glucomannan). The Consumer Product Safety Commission
and the Food and Drug Administration consider this type of candy to pose a
serious choking risk, particularly to infants, children, and the elderly.
Local authorities have reported four children's deaths from choking in the
United States associated with this type of jelly candy. There have also been
reports of deaths in other countries.
Each jelly cup is about the size of a single-serve coffee creamer. The jelly
cups are in a 1500g plastic jar. The flavors sold are Lychee, Mango, and
Assorted. Some of the candy bears warning labels, suggesting "Caution: this
product contains fruit chunk. Must be chewed thoroughly before swallowing.
Not recommended for children under 3 years old!" All of the product is under
recall. Korean Farm is cooperating with the FDA and is voluntarily recalling
The FDA has issued two previous general warnings against consuming mini-cup
gel candies that contain the ingredient "konjac". Although the agency issued
an import alert to address importation of these candies in October, 2001,
candies imported prior to the import alert are still in the US market. These
candies are sold under various brand names, distributed by various
companies. The FDA continues to investigate and follow-up this issue.
Korean Farm urges all consumers to return this product to the place of
purchase for a full refund.