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13 Banned Ethnic Foods to Get You in Big Trouble

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(Gerry Furth-Sides) From poppy seeds in Saudi Arabia, to samosas in Al Shabaab-controlled Somalia, a new infographic explores the world’s weirdest banned foods.

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If you are feeling hungry for haggis or “fancy” some foie gras or the famous poppy seeds that dot so many ethnic pastries, think again before you buy them.  Depending on where you are in the world, your foodie hankering could in fact be illegal.

There are thousands of different foodstuffs, which are banned across the world’s 196 countries for a whole smorgasbord of different reasons. From health concerns and animal rights, to religious beliefs and public hygiene, every nation has its own particular hangups about food – resulting in some very bizarre bans.

A brand new infographic from Pokies.net.au delves into the weird world of banned foods across the globe, cataloguing some of the most unusual, unexpected and inexplicable rules and regulations.

For a country with very often puzzling policies on chemicals and supplements in food, the United States is surprisingly stringent when it comes to choking hazards, according to the website.

European children’s favourite, Kinder Eggs, are banned in the States because they contravene the 1938 Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act, which bans items containing a “non-nutritive object”.

Other nations are less concerned about citizens swallowing tiny toys and more worried about the long term consequences of chemicals in their cuisine.

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Australia and New Zealand have recently gotten tough on farm reared salmon which is given its pink color artificially by feeding the fish astaxanthin, a substance derived from petrochemicals. The USA and the EU are yet to impose restrictions on this potentially harmful foodstuff.


Religious reasons  play into the ne of the most bizarre banned foods featured on Pokies.net.au new infographic has to be the humble samosa. img_3503This savory triangular treat has been outlawed by the Islamic extremist group, Al-Shabaab, who currently control significant swathes of Somalia. Their rationale? The three-sided shape of the snack represents the Christian Holy Trinity.

Strict Singapore is one of the strictest places. This comparatively small country has lots of laws about food, many of which are somewhat unusual. For starters, the nation has completely banned chewing gum in a bid to keep its public spaces clean.


images-2 images-1Poppy seeds are also illegal in the country because they are considered “prohibited goods” by Singapore’s Central Narcotics Bureau.

From kangaroo meat and haggis, to raw milk and jelly cups; there’s a whole wide world of weird food hangups to be discovered in this new infographic.

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