The Food Standards Agency has issued new industry guidance on slush-ice drinks, advising that they should not be sold to children four years of age and under.
Manufacturers are also being advised to tell retailers that they should not offer free refill promotions to under-10s, to prevent young children being exposed to excessive amounts of glycerol.
Slush ice drinks can contain glycerol as a substitute for sugar to create the slush effect. The FSA’s new guidance asks businesses to only add glycerol at the minimum quantity technically necessary to achieve this effect.
The updated guidance follows an FSA risk assessment which found that children below this age may suffer from headaches and sickness caused by exposure to glycerol.
At very high levels of exposure – typically when several of these products are drunk by a child in a short space of time – glycerol intoxication could cause shock, hypoglycaemia and loss of consciousness.
There’s more information on the Food Standards Agency website.