Just because an item is edible does not necessarily mean that it is legal to have. In the US, some foods are banned due to health concerns, while others could be restricted as a result of efforts to conserve a species, or protect citizens from questionable preparation methods. Below are 10 food items that you may be surprised to learn are banned in the US.
It is illegal to import haggis into the US because of a ban on food containing sheep lung. Sheep lung constitutes about 10-15% of the original recipe for haggis.
2. Unpasteurized Milk
Pasteurization is a process used to kill harmful bacteria in a food product. Raw, unpasteurized milk can carry dangerous bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, which are responsible for causing numerous foodborne illnesses. As a result it is banned in 21 US states.
Absinthe is banned because it contains thujone, a toxic chemical found in several edible plants. It is also believed to be responsible for the psychological effects attributed to the ingestion of Absinthe.
The raw form of this Jamaican fruit is banned from import to the United States because it contains toxins that may block the body’s ability to produce an extra supply of glucose. As a result, this can lead to a low blood sugar level and potential death.
5. Horse Meat
Horse meat has been banned in the US for several years.
6. Sassafras Oil
Once used in common drinks such as teas and root beer, safrole oil is banned in the United States for use in commercially mass-produced foods and drugs by the FDA as a potential carcinogen.
7. Japanese Pufferfish (Fugu)
This fish has skin and organs containing an incredible potent toxin called tetrodotoxin. This poison causes paralysis in humans which can lead to asphyxiation. Although it is banned in the US, In Japan it is considered a delicacy. Highly skilled Japanese chefs have spent years mastering the ability to harvest and serve the edible portions of this fish.
8. Beluga Caviar
The Beluga sturgeon is considered to be critically endangered, causing the United States Fish and Wildlife Service to ban the importation of Beluga caviar in 2005.
9. OG Four Loko
The original recipe for the Four Loko mixed drink was banned because of the dangerous combination of alcohol and caffeine.
10. Kinder Eggs
Kinder Eggs are an Italian brand of egg-shaped chocolate candies containing a toy “surprise” inside. They have been banned in the United States since long before they were first manufactured in the early ’70s. This is because the US has had a ban on candies with embedded toys since 1938, as they may be a choking hazard for small children.
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