South Korea’s food ministry has issued a health alert, advising people to avoid eating trendy fried toothpicks made of starch that resemble curly fries.
This caution comes after social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram witnessed viral videos depicting individuals indulging in the consumption of these deep-fried starch toothpicks seasoned with ingredients like powdered cheese.
In a statement posted on the social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter, the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety emphasized that the safety of these toothpicks as a food item has not been verified.
The ministry urged the public not to consume these fried toothpicks, emphasizing their status as a sanitary product.
The videos circulating on social media showcase the toothpicks being fried in oil before being consumed.
The toothpicks, made from sweet potato or corn starch, are colored green using food coloring, and they are often perceived as environmentally friendly and biodegradable.
In South Korean restaurants, these toothpicks are commonly used and can serve as handy utensils for picking up finger foods.
The trend gained popularity through a genre of online videos known as “Mukbang,” where individuals showcase themselves eating excessive amounts of food or trying unusual dishes.
Despite the appeal of the trend, the food ministry remains firm in its warning, emphasizing the lack of safety verification for these fried toothpicks.
In one TikTok video, a user expressed the crispy texture of the fried toothpicks, contributing to their viral appeal.
However, the ministry’s warning seeks to deter people from participating in this trend due to potential safety concerns surrounding the consumption of these unconventional fried snacks.
South Korea Issues Warning Against Consuming Trendy Fried Toothpicks, South Korea Issues Warning Against Consuming Trendy Fried Toothpicks