18 Surprising Foods in USA That Are Banned in Other Countries

foods in usa that are banned in other countries

Have you ever wondered why some foods you enjoy in the USA are nowhere to be found when you travel abroad? The reasons behind this can be surprising. In this article, we uncover the foods in USA that are banned in other countries.

You’ll learn why these bans exist and what makes these foods controversial. Get ready for a fascinating journey into the world of food regulations!

18 American Foods That Are Banned in Other Countries

The United States is known for its diverse and unique food culture, but not all American foods are welcomed around the world. Some popular items you enjoy in the USA are banned in other countries due to health concerns, safety regulations, or differences in food standards. Here are 18 American foods that you won’t find on shelves abroad, along with the reasons behind their bans.

1. Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew

Mountain Dew, a popular citrus-flavored soda, is known for its vibrant color and unique taste. However, it contains brominated vegetable oil (BVO), an additive that has raised health concerns.

BVO is linked to memory loss, skin problems, and nerve issues. Due to these health risks, countries like Japan and the European Union have banned Mountain Dew. Despite these bans, it remains widely consumed in the USA.

2. Farmed Salmon

Farmed Salmon

Farmed salmon is a staple in many American households, but its production methods are controversial. The fish are often raised in crowded conditions and treated with antibiotics and synthetic pigments to enhance their color.

These practices can lead to health concerns and environmental damage. As a result, countries like Australia and New Zealand have banned the import of farmed salmon from the USA, preferring wild-caught alternatives.

3. Skittles


Skittles, the colorful candy loved by many, contains artificial dyes like Yellow 5 and Yellow 6. These dyes have been linked to hyperactivity in children and other health issues.

The European Union has strict regulations on artificial food colors, leading to a ban on Skittles unless they are reformulated. In contrast, the USA allows these additives, making Skittles readily available.

4. Little Debbie Swiss Rolls

Swiss Rolls

Image source: Pinterest

Little Debbie Swiss Rolls are a popular snack cake in the USA, but they contain food dyes like Red 40 and Yellow 5. These additives are banned in many European countries due to potential health risks, including hyperactivity and cancer concerns.

The European Union requires warning labels on products containing these dyes, making them less appealing to consumers.

5. Stove Top Stuffing Mix

Stuffing Mix

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Stove Top Stuffing Mix is a convenient side dish for many American families, especially during holidays. However, it contains preservatives like BHA (butylated hydroxyanisole) and BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene), which are suspected carcinogens.

Countries such as Japan and parts of the European Union have banned these additives, leading to Stove Top Stuffing Mix being unavailable in these regions.

6. Pop-Tarts


Image source: Pinterest

Pop-Tarts, the sugary breakfast pastry, is a favorite among kids and adults alike. However, they contain artificial colors and high fructose corn syrup, which are linked to various health issues like obesity and diabetes.

The European Union has stricter regulations on these ingredients, resulting in a ban on Pop-Tarts unless they are reformulated without these additives.

7. Farmed Shrimp

Farmed Shrimp

Farmed shrimp from the USA often contain antibiotics and chemicals used to prevent disease in crowded farming conditions. These substances can be harmful to human health and the environment.

As a result, countries like Australia and the European Union have banned the import of farmed shrimp from the USA, opting for shrimp sourced from regions with stricter farming practices.

8. Hershey’s Kisses

Hershey’s Kisses

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Hershey’s Kisses, the iconic American chocolate, contains PGPR (polyglycerol polyricinoleate), an emulsifier used to reduce the viscosity of chocolate. PGPR is banned in the European Union due to health concerns. Despite this, Hershey’s Kisses remain popular in the USA, where regulations on food additives are less stringent.

9. Pillsbury Crescent Rolls

Crescent Rolls

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Pillsbury Crescent Rolls are a convenient and tasty addition to many American meals. However, they contain partially hydrogenated oils, a source of trans fats linked to heart disease. The European Union and other countries have banned trans fats, making Pillsbury Crescent Rolls unavailable or reformulated in these regions.

10. American Dairy Products with rBGH

American Dairy

Many dairy products in the USA contain recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH), which is used to increase milk production in cows. rBGH has been linked to cancer and other health issues, leading to its ban in countries like Canada, Japan, and the European Union. These regions prefer dairy products from cows not treated with rBGH.

11. Bread with Potassium Bromate

Bread with Potassium Bromate

Potassium bromate is used in bread production to improve dough strength and elasticity. However, it is a potential carcinogen, and long-term exposure has been linked to cancer. As a result, countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada, and Brazil have banned the use of potassium bromate in bread, while it remains legal in the USA.

12. Ritz Crackers

Ritz Crackers

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Ritz Crackers are a popular snack in the USA, but they contain partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, a source of trans fats. Trans fats are known to increase the risk of heart disease, leading to their ban in the European Union and other countries. As a result, Ritz Crackers are either banned or require reformulation in these regions.

13. Coffee-Mate


Coffee-Mate, a widely used coffee creamer, contains trans fats and artificial flavors. Trans fats are linked to heart disease and other health issues, prompting bans in the European Union and other countries. Consequently, Coffee-Mate is either unavailable or reformulated to meet these stricter standards in many parts of the world.

14. Kinder Surprise

Kinder Surprise

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Kinder Surprise, the chocolate egg with a toy inside, is a beloved treat in many countries. However, it is banned in the USA due to safety regulations that prohibit embedding non-food items within food.

The concern is that the small toys inside Kinder Surprise eggs pose a choking hazard to children. Despite its popularity worldwide, Americans have to settle for Kinder Joy, a modified version that complies with US regulations by separating the toy from the chocolate.

15. Lucky Charms

Lucky Charms

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Lucky Charms, the beloved breakfast cereal, contains artificial colors and preservatives like TBHQ (tertiary butylhydroquinone). These ingredients are linked to various health concerns, including hyperactivity in children and potential carcinogenic effects. The European Union has banned several of these additives, making Lucky Charms unavailable or reformulated in those regions.

16. M&Ms


M&Ms are colorful chocolate candies enjoyed by many. However, they contain artificial colors like Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40, which are linked to hyperactivity and other health issues. The European Union requires warning labels on products containing these dyes, leading to a ban or reformulation of M&Ms in some countries.

17. Wheat Thins

Wheat Thins

Image source: Pinterest

Wheat Thins, a popular cracker in the USA, contain BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene) as a preservative. BHT is banned in many countries due to its potential carcinogenic effects. As a result, Wheat Thins are either unavailable or require reformulation in these regions.

18. Gatorade


Image source: Pinterest

Gatorade, the widely consumed sports drink, contains artificial colors and brominated vegetable oil (BVO). These ingredients are linked to various health concerns, including memory loss and hyperactivity. The European Union and Japan have banned BVO, leading to Gatorade being reformulated or unavailable in these regions.

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