This past Monday a toddler in Paso Ancho died from asphyxiation after ingesting a popular gelatin treat resembling a small Jello Snack Pack called “Mini Gelatinas” a common candy that any Gringo that has been to a piñata party will tell you are as abominable as they are abundant here.
Well it turns out they are also illegal and very dangerous. Although one would think that they would have been banned from day one due to their foul flavor they weren’t actually banned in Costa Rica until 2003 and it was due to something much worse…..
These minigelatinas, as Ticos call them, were banned by the Ministry of Health over a decade ago due to a chemical known as Konjac. Konjac, unlike most gelling agents does not readily melt in your mouth and due to several highly publicized deaths and near-deaths, products containing Konjac were subsequently banned in the USA, Costa Rica and the European Union. In all 17 people reportedly died from choking on konjac between 1995 and 2008 but besides the recent case in Costa Rica no updated numbers could be located.