From ketchup to chewing gum, it turns out a whole host of foods have been taken off shelves around the world for all kinds of reasons.
The idea of ‘banning’ certain foods is nothing new. We all remember the outrage when Jamie Oliver had Turkey Twizzlers taken off the school-dinner menu and the E-numbers backlash of the noughties. But these aren’t the only examples.
Blaming everything from poisonous contents and concerns over genetically modified food, to issues with gravity, governments of the world are getting serious when it comes to what we should and shouldn’t be eating. Kitchen retailer Magnet released a list of some of the most unusual (and in some cases dangerous) examples of government-banned foods from around the globe.
You’ve no chance of p-p-p-picking up a penguin in Canada as the Manchester-made biscuits, along with Irn Bru and Marmite, have been banned by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for being ‘enriched with vitamins and minerals’.
Tomato is banned in schools in France, except for once a week when it is served with fries, due to concerns that it may cause pupils to distance themselves from traditional cuisine.
The fry-up favourite is banned in the United States for sanitary reasons. However, things could be about to change as last year The Scotsman reported that the Scottish Government is in talks with the U.S to lift the ban.
The U.S has made their feelings about Scottish food quite clear, as in 1971 the decision was made to ban haggis (as well as black pudding) after the Department of Agriculture ruled against the consumption of livestock’s lungs. The ruling continues to be in effect today.
Remember the episode of The Simpsons where Homer eats poisonous fish at a sushi restaurant and is told he only has 22 hours to live? Well, it turns out that episode was no exaggeration, Fugu has a poison 1,200 times more deadly than cyanide so it’s no surprise that the fish is banned in the EU. Only chefs who have been trained to remove the toxic parts of the fish are allowed to serve Fugu and there are only 20 restaurants in the U.S that serve the dish.
The food additive, which is used to bleach and increase the shelf life of bread, is banned in Europe, Australia and Singapore (where anyone caught using it could face up 15 years in prison) after case reports identified ADA as a possible cause of Asthma.
Also in Singapore, chewing gum was banned in 1992 in a bid to keep the streets clean. The ban is still in place and anyone found selling the stuff could face a fine of up to £1,000 and two years in prison.
The ban of samosas in Somalia was initially believed to be caused by Al-Shabaab leaders considering the triangular shape to be to close too closely associated with the Christian Trinity. However, they were actually banned due to public health concerns after traders were found to be selling rotten meat.
In 2014, Russia introduced an import ban on a range of foreign foods including cheese. While may Russians were understandably upset about being denied foreign cheese, the ban has seen local businesses take the initiative and create their own versions of the worldwide favourites.
Salt and Pepper
The condiments are banned in space because, instead of landing on the food, the grains simply float away so have been replaced with salt and pepper infused liquid. Arguably space isn’t part of ‘the world’ but it’s still interesting.
Also published on Medium.