Artisan Gourmet Popcorn + Desiccant Silica Gel - WARNING!

My family went to the theatre today and purchased two packets of Artisan Gourmet Popcorn. I am sitting in the dark watching the movie eating away when I felt this plastic packet inside the popcorn. I had absolutely no idea what it was so I stopped eating.

We get home, and later over dinner my husband goes to his TV room to watch a movie and he starts munching away on his packet of Artisan Gourmet Popcorn. He then comes out asking what this packet is doing in his popcorn bag.

We both found a plastic packet of Desiccant Silica Gel “Don’t Eat”. What the hell?

Why on earth would there be a packet of Silica Gel inside these bags of popcorn?

I would very much appreciate Choice investigate this please. This is a total health hazard for any person, especially young ones, and especially if this bag of Silica Gel was not sealed and they ingested it in error. No one would ever expect to find Silica Gel inside their food!

I took a photo of the packet and gel.

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Thanks for raising this @nerrel.loader, I will share this with our investigations team.

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Just a couple of observations about this sort of thing - some plastic containers of tablets have packs of silica gel in them too, I assume to absorb moisture and prevent mould etc. However, you are unlikely to be eating handfuls of them in the dark, so they don’t pose the same risk.
Also, some flat breads and other foods have small packs of powdered Iron to absorb Oxygen and prevent spoilage. Sometimes the pack of Iron gets embedded in the food and can be cooked with it if you dont inspect all sides carefully!


Good observations, Gordon. My packet was Rocky Road which had tiny marshmallows and hundreds & thousands in the bottom of the pack. If the gel packet broke, one would not know if one was eating hundreds & thousands or gel. I am a person who takes ownership and responsibility for my actions, not one to cry wolf or anything, but I do find this awfully worrying particularly when there is no warning on the pack that there is a satchel inside which is inedible, and because they are sold in an environment where they were eaten in the dark. :slight_smile:

These sachets are everywhere these days - except in fresh foods. They are used to prevent moisture build up and sogginess of the ‘food’. A possible genuine issue for children but adults should easily notice the difference in ‘feel’ between popcorn and silica sachet before it gets to the mouth!

Moral; decant packet foods into a dish or other receptacle before eating.

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I don’t know if CHOICE ever carried out an investigation, but I’ve just had a similar experience and have posted here rather than start a new post.
I took a piece of dried fruit snack out of bag and started eating it. Crunchy at first then surprisingly chewy, I thought that’s odd, took it out and found that inside the curled up piece of dried fruit had been a very very small packet of desiccant. These packets normally clearly say “Do Not Eat” so including them in such snack foods is surely dangerous.