FSA considers voluntary warning label on jelly

Monday, April 18, 2016

A choking hazard warning could appear on jelly packaging after the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said it would revisit the issue with the industry, following scrutiny of a coroner’s report into the death of Tiya Chauhan at a nursery.

A choking hazard warning could appear on jelly packaging after the Food Standards Agency (FSA) said it would revisit the issue with the industry, following scrutiny of a coroner’s report into the death of Tiya Chauhan at a nursery.

In response to enquiries by Nursery World, the FSA said it would consider suggesting voluntary labelling.

The magazine reported earlier this month that in her Prevent Future Deaths (PFD) report, Westminster coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox listed a number of concerns as a result of an inquest into the death of 22-month-old Tiya, who choked on a cube of raw jelly at Dicky Birds’ Wimbledon setting in 2012.

Some early years professionals asked whether enough had been done to increase awareness since the inquest.

An FSA spokesman said, ‘The FSA gave serious consideration to the coroner’s report and we alerted our main stakeholders, including local authorities, to its contents. In regard to the question of a choking warning on jelly packaging, while there is no requirement for specific labelling of this sort, the FSA will consider again whether to highlight with industry the issue of voluntary labelling for this product.’

Hartley’s, which appears to be the main manufacturer of jelly in the UK, said, ‘The health and safety of our consumers is our highest priority. We follow all regulatory and EU labelling requirements, and as and when there are voluntary recommendations made by these bodies we always take these in to consideration.’

The inquest jury returned a verdict of accidental death ‘contributed to by neglect’, after Dicky Birds failed to supervise Tiya for up to 75 seconds during a sensory play session.

Dicky Birds nursery was last month ordered to pay nearly £200,000 in fines and costs after admitting health and safety breaches.

The PFD was published on the Judiciary website last week, only after Nursery Worldasked the Chief Coroner’s office where it was. It confirms that one of the coroner’s concerns was that ‘packets of raw jelly do not contain a warning that cubes of jelly present a choking risk to children’.

The documents published on the Judiciary website show the FSA responded to the coroner in February last year, confirming it proposed to circulate information among local authorities and relevant industry bodies.

The PFD was sent to Ofsted and the Local Government Association, but some early years organisations have told Nursery World they were unaware of it.

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