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Candy Recalled After Choking Deaths

January 16, 2002|From Times Staff and Wire Reports

The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that a Buena Park firm is recalling several brands of conjac jelly candy because the product presents a choking hazard.

The action by Walong Marketing Inc. is the latest recall of this type of candy, which has been linked to six choking deaths of children in the U.S., the latest a 2-year-old in New Jersey around the New Year's holiday, the FDA said.

The FDA said none of the brands Walong was recalling--Kimbo, Asian Taste, Jin Jin and Shin Hsiang Jen Foods--have been linked to the deaths. The agency did not say how many of these candies were being recalled or whether Walong was taking the action voluntarily. Walong did not return telephone calls Tuesday.

This type of candy, which is popular in Asia, is sold under dozens of brand names, such as Jelly Yum and Fruit Poppers.

The brightly colored gel candies come in small plastic cups, often with a piece of fruit in them. The candy doesn't readily dissolve in the mouth, and the gel, which contains conjac, also known as yam flour. is so sticky that rescue workers have reported being unable to dislodge it from the throats of choking children.

In August, the FDA issued warnings about the dangers of conjac jelly candy after two California children and a third in Washington state had died from them. Several markets pulled the candy off their shelves, but some small companies have continued selling it.

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