While you’re munching on your favourite snack in college, did you ever wonder if it’s available in other countries?
Don’t hold your breath, since there are actually foods which are banned in certain countries. Some of these food items may come as a surprise, so buckle up and prepare to be shocked!
#1. Kinder Surprise eggs
Surprise, surprise; the beloved chocolate egg you begged your mum to get for you as a kid is actually an illegal item in the US.
Before you get alarmed and start a riot, the reason why America disallows Kinder eggs is due to the 1938 Food, Drug and Cosmetic act which bans confections and food items containing a toy inside it as it could become a choking hazard. That’s one thing to note before you decide to snack on a Kinder Surprise egg on your trip to the US.
Oui, your favourite condiment is off-limits in French elementary schools. Okay, technically not completely banned, but the dietary guidelines that were drawn up in a bid to control the serving of unhealthy condiments and preserve French food culture definitely limit the amount of ketchup students can squeeze on their dishes in cafeterias.
According to the regulation, students are allowed to guzzle french fries with ketchup only once a week and traditional French dishes can have no contact with ketchup at all!
#3. Fruit jelly cups
Who knew those seemingly harmless jelly cups could be dangerous? It’s sad, but true. The European Commission has banned the treats to eliminate the risk of children choking on them.
Reasons given were because of the consistency, shape and form of the jelly cups. The individual mouth-sized servings required children to press hard on the container to eat the fruit jelly in a single bite, increasing the risk of the jelly slipping straight into a kid’s throat and getting stuck.
#4. Beluga caviar
If you have the refined taste for this fine food, you’ll be saddened to know that wild Beluga caviar is restricted in the US.
There’s a noble reason behind the ban — the Beluga sturgeon from the Caspian and Black Sea is critically endangered and these restrictions will protect this species. Don’t fret, other types of caviar are still available if it tickles your fancy.
#5. Chewing gum
You definitely know this already, but it helps to know exactly why chewing gum is banned in our neighbouring country, Singapore. Aside from the fact that stepping on gum is annoying, the ban was ultimately made when the sticking of gum on the sensors of train doors caused service disruptions.
Under the Regulation of Imports and Exports (Chewing Gum) Regulations, the ban includes bubble gum and other types of gum (except for registered health gums like nicotine gum and dental gum). So while it’s not illegal to chew gum in Singapore, you definitely cannot import or sell it. However, tourists can still bring up to 2 packs of chewing gum per person to consume.
#6. Fugu pufferfish
With tight regulation in Japan and an all-out ban from the European Union, the Japanese puffer fish (also known as fugu) is a fascinating food that draws out the daredevil in you.
Its delicious taste is fact, but what is also fact is the poison in the puffer fish’s skin and organs. If you accidentally consume the tetrodotoxin poison from the fish, you could end up paralysed or die from asphyxiation.
#7. Sweets, peanuts and all things delicious
That’s right, canteen essentials like hot dogs, chocolate bars, potato chips and many more are banned at all schools in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Malaysian secondary school doesn’t sound so bad anymore now, does it?
The guidelines were drawn up according to global health standards in an effort to help students make wise dietary choices and curb obesity, diabetes and anaemia.
#8. Foie gras
While usually found at the fanciest of dinner parties, there’s no denying that foie gras is a controversial dish. Meaning “fatty liver” in French, the food is produced by force-feeding corn to ducks and geese to expand their livers, which are then harvested to be presented as gourmet dishes.
It’s banned in California, US under the Senate Bill 1520, prohibiting the act of force-feeding the birds as well as the by-products of it.
#9. Shark’s fin
Shark fin soup still remains on the menu for a number of Chinese weddings, but you won’t see it in Canada as the country has banned the import and sale of shark fins.
The inhumane act of hacking the fins from the shark and then throwing the shark back into the water to die is the reason for this ban. Other countries that have followed suit by banning or restricting shark finning include Australia, Honduras, Namibia and Spain.
#10. Casu marzu
Interested in having your fair share of maggot-filled cheese? We bet you don’t. You’re in luck, as the EU European Food Safety Authority has your health in mind and banned the cheese.
Should you still be itching to try it despite knowing the casu marzu cheese is riddled with thousands of maggots and that the rich flavour comes from maggot excretions, you can try your luck at the Italian black market.
Were you surprised by any of the entries in this list? We sure were! Leave a comment below if you know an out-of-this-world food that was banned in a certain country. Happy eating!