Beware of poisoning caused by granitas in children

Beware of poisoning caused by granitas in children

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    Children love it: granita is a sweet and fun drink, due to its half-ice, half-soda appearance. But it would not be without risk, due to a particular substance which composes it: glycerin.

    This is an alert from the Food Standards Agency (FSA) and Food Standards Scotland (FSS), the British and Scottish food standards agencies. Granitas are not without risks, due to the glycerin which is part of their composition.

    Glycerin, which gives granita its typical appearance

    You may have already asked yourself the question: how is it possible for granita to have this consistency, between soda and ice cream? This is because of glycerin, which is included in the composition of the drink. A product that would not be safe.

    Consumed in large quantities, glycerin could cause poisoning, causing headaches and nausea. And at very high levels of exposure—usually when multiple servings are consumed by a child in a short period of time—glycerol poisoning can cause shock, hypoglycemia, and loss of consciousness.

    A call for vigilance, especially for children

    Even if the British and Scottish authorities concede a “low” risk, particularly when consuming a single granita, this risk remains present and increases if several are consumed.

    In 2021 and 2022, cases of glycerin poisoning, with victims hospitalized, have been identified. Health authorities therefore advise against the drink for young children aged under 4 years, who are more sensitive to glycerin than adults.

    According to one of the additives managers at the FSA, “Symptoms of glycerin poisoning are usually mild, but it is important for parents to be aware of the risks.”. The two agencies finally call on granita manufacturers to reduce glycerin in their recipes and say they are “grateful” to “those who have already taken measures” and to “those who [leur] learned that they would do so shortly.”

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