May 23, 2002
FDA SEIZES NEW CHOICE FOOD GEL
The Food and Drug Administration conducted a seizure of all New Choice Food
mini-gel candies at the firm's facility in Irwindale, California. This
action was taken after the agency determined that this product presented a
To date, the company has not recalled the product. These candies are
distributed nationwide to large retail establishments, Asian and Hispanic
markets, and sold internationally. They are packaged in small sealed plastic
"The FDA has had this product seized so that these choking hazards will not
be distributed to the public", said FDA Deputy Commissioner Dr. Lester
Crawford. "They pose an unacceptable risk to U.S. consumers."
These candies contain the ingredient "konjac" (also known as conjac,
konnyaku, yam flour, or glucomannan). The FDA and staff physiologists from
the Consumer Product Safety Commission consider this type of candy to pose a
serious choking risk,particularly to infants, children and the elderly.
Unlike gelatin products commonly found in the United States, these candies
do not readily dissolve when placed in the mouth. There have been six
children's deaths reported from choking in the U.S. associated with this
type of gel candy. There have also been reports of deaths in other
The candies seized today are sold under the brand names New Choice Mini
Fruity Gels, Yummy Choice Fruit Gel Snack, and Sheng Hsiang Jen (Chinese
label) Conjac Coconut Jelly in the following flavors: apple, grape, taro,
lychee, peach, pineapple, mango, orange, lemon, strawberry, and as
Each gel cup is about the size of a single-serve coffee creamer. The gel
cups are sold in 250 gram (8.75 oz) and 300 gram (10.5 oz.) plastic bags or
in 1100 gram (38.5 oz.) and 1500 gram (52.5 oz.) plastic jars. Some labels
of these products have a warning suggesting that they are a choking hazard,
and some labels state that they should not be consumed by children of
various ages, ranging from 3 to 6 years of age.
The State of California Food and Drug Branch embargoed a large amount of
this product at the Irwindale, California warehouse.
In August and October 2001, the FDA issued general warnings against
consuming mini-cup gel candies that contain the ingredient "konjac." Other
firms have voluntarily recalled these gel candies.
Although the agency issued an import alert to address importation of these
candies in October 2001, some candies imported prior to the import alert may
still be in the US market.
These candies are sold under various brand names, distributed by various
companies. The FDA continues to investigate and follow-up on this issue.