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23 Foods Banned Around The World Today

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  • 23 Foods Banned Around The World
  • Whether Its For Their Ingredients Or Their Branding Some Foods That Are Just Not Allowed To Be Sold In Some Countries


Each Country Has Its Own Tastes

When you go travelling it's often a good move to learn your destination country's customs and traditions.

Each country is different and has its own set of rules even when it comes to food.

Some of the reasons for a certain product exclusion are understandable but some are questionable to say the least.

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1M&Ms

Banned in: Sweden

Reason: Branding

First introduced in 1941, M&Ms have gone on to be one of the most popular and well known snacks in the world.

Whether it's the chocolate or the peanut version you prefer, if you are based in Sweden you won't be able to get your hands on either.

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'M' by Mondelez is a chocolate covered peanut snack that has been in Sweden since 1957.

With some heavy lobbying, the Swedish based employer managed to restrict M&M's in the Scandinavian country as their product was too similar.

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2Fruit Loops

Banned in: Norway, France, Finland and Austria

Reason: Too many artificial colors

When it comes to breakfast cereals, there is no place that does it quite like North America. Whilst they are some of the most famous products on the planet they are known for being full of sugar and not being very nutritious.

Fruit loops fits the description perfectly.

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The generations of children in Norway, France, Finland and Austria have been denied access to this hugely popular breakfast cereal for health reasons.

Researchers carried out studies that linked the artificial colors that give Fruit Loops their appeal to complications in cell development.

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3Rare Burgers

Banned in: New Zealand and parts of the U.K.

Reason: Bacteria

Beef is one of those foods that divides opinion about they way it should be cooked. Some people like it 'well done' whilst others want it as rare as possible in the middle or 'blue'.

If your tastes are more of the latter then your not in luck when you visit New Zealand or the U.K.

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In these countries, having beef rare than medium is not allowed because of the high levels of bacteria that the meat may be carrying.

The only way around this is to buy your own steak from the butcher and cook your own in the comfort of your own home.

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4Kebabs

Banned in: Venice

Reason: Bad for cultural image

Food plays a massive role in the identity of a country and its culture.

Having a vibrant food scene can give a city its own identity and one that many will want to visit.

In many European cities, kebabs are the crowd favourite for late night snackers and party goers.

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Kebabs are cost effective, easy to assemble and still very tasty.

Add in a bit of sauce and you can see why they hit the spot for so many late night city dwellers.

Venice banned the food for the fact that it has a low quality reputation.

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5Chewing Gum

Banned in: Singapore

Reason: Cleanliness

Chewing gum has been designed as a way to improve and freshen your breath quickly and easily.

When you are in a hurry and you don't have your toothburhs to hand, chewing gum has become a handy, cheap and quick alternative.

But there are places in the world which have banned this sticky substance.

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In a bid to clean the streets of Singapore, chewing gum was banned with anyone found using it (with a medical prescription) being fined hundreds if not thousands of dollars.

It gets worse, as if you don't have the proper paperwork you can go to prison for 2 years or fined $100,000.

Think I will risk having bad breath.

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6Raw Milk

Banned in: Canada, U.K and US

Reason: Health Concerns

There are many countries in the world where raw milk is found and sold.

Raw milk is associated with it a number of health benefits including an improved digestive system and immune system.

So why is it banned?

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Like a lot of raw products there is always the possibility of illness from germs and bacteria like Salmonella and Listeriosis.

It is for that reason in Canada, U.K and the US that almost all milk found is pasteurised.

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7Marmite

Banned in: Denmark, Canada

Reason: Additives in the ingredients

Invented in Burton-on-Trent in the UK Marmite has gained a reputation from its initial creation that you either love it or hate it.

The divisive spread is a yeasty brown paste which contains a number of vitamins and minerals.

But the taste is not for everyone.

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Whilst it is not completely clear as to why Denmark and Canada have banned the famous UK condiment it's fair to say that the regulators were not a fan of the taste.

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8Ketchup

Banned in: French Schools

Reason: Cultural

Ketchup was founded in 1876 by Henry John Heinz. The tomato based sauce. has gone on to become a worldwide staple and is available in restaurants throughout the world.

Part of the reason for the success of the tasty condiment is that it goes with almost everything including chicken nuggets and chips.

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The French are known for their high standards when it comes to cuisine and it is for that reason they have banned the sauce in schools.

It is believed that if children cannot appreciate the French cuisine without ketchup it will give them a detrimental opinion about French food.

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9Fat Free Potato Chips

Banned in: The U.K. & Canada

Reason: Gastrointestinal Side Effects

Fat free chips were designed as an alternative to the popular yet highly fatty, greasy and salty potato chips that dominated the market.

The fact that the chips were fat free became a massive selling point for them but like most things in life it came at a cost.

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One of the main ingredients to these chips is olestra.

It adds no fat, cholesterol or calories but does give customers stomach cramps and diarrhoea.

Basically if it sounds too good to be true by getting rid of all the fat, then it probably is.

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10Mac And Cheese

Banned in: Norway, Austria and the European Union

Reason: Harmful coloring agents

Mac and Cheese is a North American classic and is a kids favourite.

You can make it the home made way with natural ingredients or you can get the ready meal version that contains a sachet of cheese powder.

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This boxed ready meal is banned in a number of countries because of the coloring agent that has been proven to be harmful to children.

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11Fugu

Banned in: The United States and Europe

Reason: Can cause death

Fans of 'The Simpsons' will recognise this blowfish and its deadly reputation.

When the popular episode aired in 1991 the dish gained notoriety around the world for its poison and the level of risk involved just to cook it.

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The toxins found in fugu are thought to be at least 1,000 times more deadly than cyanide.

There are only a handful of chefs who know how to prepare the dish correctly.

Given the worst possible scenario it's understandable why no one wants to know how to serve it.

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12Haggis

Banned in: United States

Reason: Content

If you asked anyone to name a food that comes from Scotland, chance are they will say Haggis.

It is one of the thinks that the country is known for worldwide, apart from whiskey and Sean Connery.

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But what exactly is in haggis?

Well it is full of offal like heart, liver and the lungs of a sheep combined with some minced onion and oatmeal that is wrapped in the liner of a sheep's stomach before cooked in a broth.

In 1971 the US Department of Agriculture outlawed the consumption of the lungs of any livestock.

And it remains in force to this day making haggis a biig no no.

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13Certain Brands Of French Fries

Banned in: Austria, Singapore and the U.K

Reason: Ingredients

French fries go with almost anything. That is one of the reason that so many of us have a back of french friends in the back of the freezer ready for when you need them.

There are easy to store and will last a long time.

One of the reasons that they last so long is because it contains azodicarbonamide.

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As is the case with a number of compounds that are artificially added to our foods there have been concerns with azodicarbonamide for those with severe respiratory conditions and asthma.

It is for that reason that brands who use this chemical have been banned from selling their french fries in Austria, Singapore and the U.K.

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14McVities Penguin Milk Chocolate Biscuit

Banned in: Canada

Reason: Ingredients

If you say to someone from the U.K to 'P-P Pick Up A Penguin' they will instantly know that you are referring to the crunchy chocolate biscuit with cream filling.

A children's favourite the biscuit if hugely popular in the U.K but not in Canada after it was banned by the authorities.

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In 2014 the Canadian Food Inspection Agency said the biscuits were 'enriched with vitamins and minerals'.

Apparently that was enough to get them banned!

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15Black Pudding

Banned in: United States

Reason: Cleanliness

Black pudding is one of those tasty, savoury treats that you may be put off when you realise what it is made from.

Traditional black pudding is made from oatmeal mixed with the blood from a cow or a pig. It's also known as blood sausage.

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Because black pudding is made from the blood and fat of an animal, US authorities deemed that it was too risky to allow the product in the country given how many possible bacterias and diseases it could give to consumers.

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16Beluga Caviar

Banned in: United States

Reason: Conservation

Because of its premium price, caviar is synonymous with cocktail parties of the rich and famous and also James Bond films!

Probably the most famous type of the expensive fish eggs is the beluga caviar which comes from the beluga sturgeon which costs an eye watering $7,000 to $10,000 per 1 kg.

No wonder you only have it in tiny amounts.

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However, in 2006 the beluga was named on the endangered species list and trade in the 'black gold' was significantly reduced.

The US banned the food in a hope that fish stocks would improve.

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17Shark Fin

Banned in: Lots of countries, including the US

Reason: Conservation

The street markets of South East Asia and China are known for producing some peculiar delicacies. One popular dish is Shark fin soup.

As the name suggests the soup is made from the fin of the shark which gives the soup a distinct texture. Herbs and spices are added to make the soup edible.

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Shark fishing in China has gained a lot of attention over recent years for the inhumane methods that are used to kill over 100,000,000 every year.

In limiting it's availability the US hope to reduce the demand for this controversial food.

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18Mountain Dew

Banned in: Japan and parts of Europe

Reason: Birth Defects link

Mountain Dew is the popular brightly coloured soft drink that was founded in the US in 1940.

Now owned by PepsiCo the refreshing drink is banned in parts of Europe and Japan over serious concerns that it has on birth defects in children.

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The countries have banned the drink because of the rise of birth defects being seen from frequent users of the product in addition to reports of hearing loss and even schizophrenia.

I think I will just have a water from now on thanks.

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19Coffee Mate

Banned in: Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Hungary

Reason: Health concerns

Coffee-Mate is the powdered coffee whitener that first came on to the market in 1961 for individuals who are sensitive to dairy products.

One of the main ingredients in Coffee-Mate is soybean which is one of the primary reasons why it has been banned in Denmark, Norway, Iceland and Hungary.

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Those who are lactose intolerant in these countries have had to find an alternative to Coffee-Mate as the soybean products in the whitener are trans-fats that have been linked to heart disease.

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20Farm Raised Salmon

Banned in: New Zealand and Australia

Reason: Bad for your eyes

If you put the flesh of two salmons next to each other, one which has been farm raised and the other that has been caught in the wild you will be able to tell the difference.

Wild salmon has a beautiful deep pink flesh whilst farm raised salmon still has a pink color but it much paler than its wild counterpart.

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The main difference between the two is the diet each has and is the reason why New Zealand and Australia have banned farm raised salmon.

The chemicals found in the grains given to salmon have not been proved to be safe for human consumption and may even lead to deteriorated eyesight.

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21Kinder Surprise Eggs

Banned in: United States

Reason: Choking Hazard

Kinder Surprise Eggs have brought so much joy to young children all over the world, but in the United States they have been banned for over 50 years.

The ban was due to the FDA believing that the toys inside the eggs could be choking hazards for young children.

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Whilst the delicious chocolate eggs are still banned to this day in many states, in 2018 the United States lifted the nationwide ban on Kinder eggs.

Young children across North America can now experience the excitement of receiving a toy with their candy.

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22Casu Marzu

Banned in: The United States

Reason: Fermentation Process

Casu Martzu (translated means rotten cheese) is the controversial Sardinian sheep milk cheese that undergoes a distinct fermentation process.

Fly larva are placed in the cheese before fermentation. The larvae release a liquid that breaks down the cheese to give it its unique creamy taste.

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Casu Martzu has proven to be a very popular cheese because of its creamy texture.

But due to its fermentation process many countries, including the United States, believe that eating rotten maggot cheese may not be in the best interests of the nation.

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23Fois Gras

Banned in: California, Italy, India, Denmark, Finland, Norway, Israel, Australia, Germany, and many more

Reason: Animal Cruelty

Fois Gras is a controversial foodstuff made from duck or goose liver.

It has a delicate flavor and is a popular dish for those who are fans of French cuisine.

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The reason why Fois Gras is banned in so many countries is because of how the ducks and geese are treated.

In order to achieve its rich flavour, the ducks are force fed through a tube twice a day for two weeks.

This practice has been described as inhumane by some but Fois Gras continues to be popular in France.

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What Do You Think Of The Decision To Ban These Foods?

Whilst banning foods may be an effective strategy when it comes to health concerns, it is not always the case that the Governments who impose restrictions are acting in the interests of the health of the nation.

Which foods do you think shouldn't be banned and are the ones which are legal today which you think should be?

Let us know in the comments section below.

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