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20 Food Items Are Not Allowed In Certain Countries

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If you happen to be traveling in Norway, France, Finland, or Austria, you might have difficulty finding a box of your favorite sugary cereal. While many countries consider a lot of cereals to be little more than candy that is marketed to kids during the morning, that’s not why Fruit Loops won’t be found on tables in these European countries.

A number of scientific studies have linked the artificial colors found in this cereal – and plenty of others – to being unhealthy. Specifically, they could potentially lead to complications in cell development. When it comes to kids, who are developing a whole lot of new cells, that sounds like a bad thing. Because it is! The science is still up in the air, but these countries aren’t taking a chance.

Rare Burgers

Plenty of meat fans tell us the only way to eat beef is with little more than a light sear. It’s known as rare, which is just barely a step above raw. Unfortunately, if those people are in New Zealand or certain places in the United Kingdom, they’re not going to get their preferred order.

Once again, it’s because of health reasons: some of those places have experienced issues with bacteria in their cows, and not cooking the meat to certain temperatures will leave that bacteria to infect you, the hungry diner. Cooking beef any less than medium rare (traditionally seen as one step above rare) is impossible, and restaurants refuse to do it. You can still buy and cook the beef at home, but you’re taking a risk.


In Europe, a kebab is a classic late-night option for hungry bar-goers, tired workers, and everybody else that feels a bit peckish. That excludes, however, people who live in the city of Venice, Italy. You might be thinking it has to do with health reasons, and that’s a good guess, but it’s not the answer.

It turns out that this city has stopped the sale of kebabs for being… low-quality food. One of the advantages of kebabs is that it always tastes the same no matter what kind of meat it is, and the city didn’t like that. The idea of low-quality fast food clogging up the city streets was something that they simply couldn’t allow. Who knows where all that food came from? It could have come from anywhere!

Chewing Gum

What could the problem with chewing gum be? There are sugar-free varieties, so it can’t be that. It doesn’t contain alcohol or any other things that might be forbidden for cultural reasons. So what is it? Well, the city of Singapore has a really good reason for wanting people to stop chewing this piece of candy – cleanliness.

They got rid of the stuff in 1992 to clean up the streets and keep sticky stuff away from public places. There are exceptions for people who need it for medical reasons, but you have to have your prescription on you, or you could be hit with a penalty of up to two years in prison or a fine of up to a hundred thousand dollars! Holy smokes!

Fat-Free Chips

Seems a bit odd not to allow a snack item that is supposed to be healthier, but that’s just what the United Kingdom and Canada have done. Fat-free chips are supposed to give people alternatives to fatty foods, but a lot of them end up causing some gut issues. This is because of the ingredient olestra, otherwise known as Olean.

It doesn’t have any fat, cholesterol, or calories, but it can give people cramps, bad gas, or even diarrhea if eaten in great enough quality. For these reasons, a couple of countries have decided to take them off store shelves. While that might only leave the full-fat options, a lot of people think it’s better than having bathroom troubles and intestinal pain.

Mac and Cheese

No, the countries of Norway, Austria, and the European Union haven’t banned the simple staple of putting cheese in pasta – what they’ve done is ban the Kraft boxed dinners that are a staple of so many kids around the globe. It comes with a box of noodles and a little pouch of cheese mix – what could be simpler? However, the above countries have found that a couple of color additives could be dangerous for growing bodies that love their mac and cheese, which means the Kraft meal wasn’t allowed.

Kraft has recently removed Yellow 5 and Yellow 6 from the mix, which means they are allowed back on store shelves. Kids in Europe rejoiced, even though it’s really not that hard to just make some noodles and add a little bit of cheese. It’s like two steps.

Certain Brands of French Fries

Plenty of us have a bag of french fries in our freezer for when guests come over to grill burgers – or just to enjoy while you don’t want to work too hard to make a meal. They have a long shelf life, which is all thanks to the chemical azodicarbonamide, a preservative.

Some studies have shown that this chemical can cause complications for people suffering from asthma, which means that the United Kingdom, Austria, and Singapore have all decided not to let them be sold. Only certain brands of french fries use this specific chemical, so you might just have to pick a different brand if you need to get your fix of thin little potatoes.

Kinder Surprise Eggs

This is one of the more famous items on this list, and it’s probably not hard to figure out why this candy with a toy inside isn’t allowed on store shelves in the United States. For many years, Kinder Surprise Eggs were banned for what should be obvious reasons following some complaints of choking.

In 2018, however, a different variety of the chocolate eggs – known as Kinder Joy Eggs – were allowed in since they pose a much smaller choking threat, hopefully down to zero. The more popular version of the treat worldwide, the Kinder Surprise Egg, is still not allowed in America. The Kinder Joy Eggs uses a hard plastic shell to protect hungry kids from those dangerous, dangerous toys.

Casu Marzu

Don’t know what that is? You’re not alone. Casu Marzu is a type of hard pecorino cheese that softens as it ferments into a creamy texture that many people around the world enjoy and appreciate. It uses an…interesting fermentation process, however, and that process is why the United States and a number of other countries have stopped it from being sold.
Fly larvae are placed inside the cheese before fermentation, which releases a liquid to make it all creamy and soft. Yeah, you read that correctly. Amazingly, many people think the idea of eating maggot cheese is something they don’t want, and thus cheese was not allowed. Can’t blame them! Who would think to do such a thing?

Durian Fruit

You might very well be familiar with this fruit. It’s hard but not impossible to find in much of the world. It has a creamy texture like a cheesecake and sweet custard taste. What’s the downside? Well, we haven’t talked about the smell yet. This fruit creates a pungent odor that has caused some people to void their stomachs. That’s how bad it can get.
In fact, it’s so repulsive that Singapore has created a law that says people aren’t allowed to eat it in public. Yes, that’s right, the smell of this fruit is so bad that a country created a law against eating it in public. We’ve never had the misfortune of smelling it (it’s worse when fresh, apparently), but it must be pretty stinking bad if that’s the case.

Foie Gras

If you eat fancy foods, you might be familiar with foie gras, which is a well-known dish from the French. It’s either duck or goose liver, and it has a rich, delicate taste sought out by those who live good food and can afford it. However, The dish’s preparation has forced several countries’ hand. The birds are restrained and force-fed certain foods in order to produce the correct kind of liver.

They’re never allowed to roam in the grass or spread their wings; many people have labeled it animal cruelty. It’s hard to argue. In fact, the countries of Italy, India, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Israel, Australia, Germany, and many others (as well as the state of California) don’t allow it to be sold.

Horse Meat

Back in the day, there was nothing wrong with chowing down on a little bit of horse meat. Sure, horses are useful for a whole lot of other things than eating, but it’s just meat, right? Back then, sure. Nowadays, however, horses are given specific foods and medicines that aren’t fit for humans, meaning if a human were to eat that tasty horse meat, he or she would be getting some of the stuff that might not be safe.

For this reason, the United States and the United Kingdom have decided nobody gets to eat horses. It’s not like there aren’t other options. There are still some places where the horse is okay to eat, but anybody traveling to those places might decide to make the smart choice and pick something else.


Samosas are small triangular pastries that are filled with all manner of good things, like minced meat, potatoes, spices, and herbs. They look and taste delicious, and people all around the world enjoy them. Except for, it seems, the country of Somalia. They have said no to this South Asian dish, and it’s for a bit of a strange reason.

You see, Somalia is a Muslim country. There’s nothing in the dish that is forbidden for them to eat, it’s the SHAPE that they don’t like. In 2011, Somali religious leaders banned Samosas because the three corners of the item seemed too indicative of Christianity’s symbol for the Holy Trinity. Now that we’re squinting, we guess we can see what they mean. Does that mean they don’t allow ANY triangular foods?

Citrus Flavored Drinks

Hitting up a cool, refreshing drink after a long, hot day is something enjoyed around the world, but more than a hundred countries, including the United States, have banned drinks with citrus flavors because of one of the ingredients that a lot of the mixtures can contain. Brominated Vegetable Oil, also known as BVO, provides carbonation and keeps the other ingredients from separating – a function known as emulsification.

It also contains bromine, which can negatively affect the thyroid gland. This chemical, and the drinks it comes in, have thus stopped appearing on shelves in a good percentage of the world. The thyroid is a pretty important gland – it helps control a lot of the body’s major systems and secret certain hormones.

Vegetarian Meals

Now, why on Earth would someone banVegetarianism and veganism have gained popularity in recent decades. In France, protein-rich meat substitutes were removed from school cafeterias due to not meeting nutritional guidelines, leaving vegetarian students with limited options. While vegetables like black beans still offer adequate protein, obtaining vegetarian meals that comply with nutritional standards has become more challenging.

In Great Britain, sprinkles containing erythrosine, also known as FD&C Red No. 3, have been banned due to its association with hyperactivity in children. However, cocktail cherries and decorative Easter eggs are exceptions to the ban.

Certain white bread made in America contains potassium bromate, which is linked to adverse health effects and is banned in countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, and Peru. Soybeans that have undergone genetic modification are also prohibited in several European countries.

Interestingly, salt and pepper are restricted in space due to the lack of gravity, prompting astronauts to consume specially prepared salt and pepper-infused liquids.

European countries, as well as Australia, New Zealand, and Japan, have banned Post Honey Maid S’mores Cereal due to the presence of Butylated Hydroxytoluene (BHT), a chemical believed to cause cancer. Additionally, instant mashed potatoes containing Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) have faced restrictions in Japan, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the European Union due to cancer-related concerns.

Pork from the U.S.

In the United States and globally, the demand for pork is high due to the large population to feed. To meet this demand, pig farms use the chemical ractopamine, a medication for promoting leanness in animals. However, this chemical is not considered safe for human consumption, and as a result, around fifty percent of the pork grown in the U.S. cannot be sold in over 150 countries due to safety concerns.

Ractopamine has been associated with behavioral changes, hyperactivity, and cardiovascular problems, which raises concerns about its impact on consumers.


Norway and Sweden have banned the sale of Skittles due to the presence of chemicals Yellow 5 and Yellow 6, which are linked to hyperactivity. In response, Skittles replaced these chemicals with natural colors, but children consuming the new Skittles still exhibited hyperactive behavior.

Efforts to address this issue continue, suggesting that further changes may be necessary to mitigate the impact.

Hot Dogs

In Abu Dhabi, a study found that fourteen percent of students were overweight, leading to the restriction of high-sodium, high-saturated fat, and artificial flavor foods in school cafeterias. As a result, hot dogs, along with other unhealthy items, are no longer available on school menus.

This action reflects a broader effort to promote healthier eating habits among students.

Little Debbie Swiss Rolls

Yellow 5 and Red 40, commonly found in Little Debbie Swiss Rolls, have been associated with behavioral changes, birth defects, organ failure, and cancer. While these dyes are allowed in the European Union with a warning label, they are banned in Norway and Austria, prompting manufacturers to find alternative solutions.

Regulatory measures aim to ensure the safety of food products available to consumers.

Stove Top Stuffing

Kraft’s Stove Top stuffing contains the chemicals BHA and BHT, which are potential carcinogens. As a result, several countries, including the United Kingdom, Japan, and various European countries, have banned this product due to its potential health risks.

Consumers have alternative options to make homemade stuffing without the use of these controversial chemicals.

Ritz Crackers

Several countries, including Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, and Denmark, have banned Ritz crackers due to the inclusion of partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, which contains gossypol, a natural toxin linked to health issues such as damaged livers and infertility.

While it may have some benefits, the potential risks associated with the inclusion of partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil have led to its ban in multiple countries.

Image Source: Unsplash

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