Top 10 American Foods that are Banned in Other Countries



Top 10 American Foods that are Banned in Other Countries

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Mimi Kenny
Good luck finding these foods when you're abroad. For this list, we'll be looking at food and drinks that originated in the United States that certain countries won't allow. Our countdown includes Stove Top Stuffing, Skittles, Pop-Tarts, and more!

Top 10 American Foods That Are Banned in Other Countries

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 American Foods That Are Banned in Other Countries.

For this list, we’ll be looking at food and drinks that originated in the United States that certain countries won't allow.

Could you not live without any of these foods? Let us know in the comments

#10: Arby’s Baked Goods

This fast food chain is famous for their roast beef, but that’s not all they have. Stop by for Arby’s breakfast, and you can have sourdough breakfast sandwiches, French toast sticks, and croissants. Well, not if you live in Europe. Arby's uses azodicarbonamide, an ingredient used for whitening bread, which Europe has outlawed. There are indications that this chemical, used by many other fast food chains as well, could trigger asthma attacks, and there have been calls for it to be banned in the U.S. Arby’s might “have the meats,” but in Europe, there are some things they don’t have.

#9: Stove Top Stuffing

Making Thanksgiving dinner on a tight budget and short notice? Stove Top stuffing can seem like a lifesaver. However, you might be changing your tune when you learn what exactly is in this mix. It contains BHA & BHT, two chemicals that may cause cancer as well as issues with blood clotting. And those aren’t the only potential health issues. A single serving of Stove Top stuffing reportedly contains nearly 30 percent of a person’s daily sodium intake. Japan, the United Kingdom, and various other European countries have banned this product. Don’t ask for seconds of this stuffing - or even firsts.

#8: Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix

Brownie mix makes it easy to whip up a crowd-pleasing dessert in no time. But you might not be so pleased to learn what’s in Betty Crocker Fudge Brownie Mix. It contains partially hydrogenated soybean oil and cottonseed oil, both of which are kinds of trans fats - though the latter’s status is an area of some dispute. While the Food and Drug Administration banned the inclusion of artificial trans fats in new food products in 2018, some pre-existing products still contain them. These trans fats mean the mix is banned in Austria, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, and Denmark, among other countries. Who knew satisfying a sweet tooth could come at such a cost?

#7: Ritz Crackers

When you think of unhealthy snacks, Ritz Crackers probably aren’t on the top of your list. They’re so light, it’s easy to eat a whole sleeve of them without feeling stuffed. However, these popular crackers also include partially hydrogenated cottonseed oil, meaning they’re banned in the same countries as the Betty Crocker Brownie Mix. Hopefully, Nabisco can one day update the Ritz Crackers formula to maintain the same great taste without using this supposedly troublesome ingredient. Looking to avoid inflammation and keep your cholesterol in check? Then, you’re better off “puttin’ off the Ritz” for now.

#6: Pop-Tarts

Pop-Tarts make for a quick and tasty breakfast. But they decidedly aren’t the healthiest option. These toaster pastries contain Yellow 5, Yellow 6, and Red 40, three food dyes that have been banned completely in Austria and Norway. Elsewhere in the European Union, foods containing these additives are banned in food meant for infants. When not banned, products containing them often must include a label, warning about their potential negative effects on children. These dyes have also been potentially linked to cancer. We know breakfast is important, but a healthy breakfast is even more important.

#5: Frosted Flakes, Honey Bunches of Oats, and Rice Krispies

If you’re moving to Europe from America, shopping for breakfast foods might give you a bit of a culture shock. Three of the most popular cereal brands, Frosted Flakes, Honey Bunches of Oats, and Rice Krispies, are banned by Japan and the European Union. Why? They contain BHT, a preservative which some fear is cancer-causing. Although there’s no definitive proof of the dangers of BHT, cereal manufacturer General Mills has taken it out of their cereals. Kellog, who produces Frosted Flakes and Rice Krispies, says they have no immediate plans to remove BHT from their cereals. But if the public demands it, they may decide to “snap, crackle, and stop.”

#4: Wheat Thins

Another popular cracker that’s banned in parts abroad, Wheat Thins might seem healthy based on their name, but their ingredient makeup is a little dicey. Like Ritz, Wheat Thins are manufactured by Nabisco, and, like Stove Top stuffing and the aforementioned cereals, they contain BHT, meaning you can’t find them in Japan, or in certain parts of Europe. Despite their name suggesting otherwise, Wheat Thins are a particularly calorie-dense snack, and they're also high in sodium. They might satisfy a short-term craving, but in the long run, you may want to monitor how big a role Wheat Thins plays in your diet.

#3: Farm-Raised Salmon

Eating salmon can provide numerous nutrients, such as protein, vitamin B, and potassium. It may also help to prevent heart disease. However, you might want to opt for wild-caught salmon, rather than farm-raised. In order for farm-raised salmon to achieve its reddish look, they’re fed artificial astaxanthin. This might make the fish look appetizing, but the chemicals involved are known for being dangerous, including possibly causing vision damage. Therefore, farm-raised salmon is outlawed in Australia and New Zealand. Not sure if the salmon you’re purchasing is farm-raised? If the label says “Atlantic Salmon,” it’s probably from a farm.

#2: Dairy with Synthetic Hormones

Open your fridge, and you’re likely to find all kinds of dairy products, from milk to yogurt to cheese. These dairy products frequently contain rBST or rBGH, synthetic hormones that are allowed by the FDA but banned in Europe, Canada, and Japan. Given to cows, these hormones are tied to colon, prostate, and breast cancer. And if you're concerned about animal rights, they're also linked to infertility and infected udders in cows. With this information, it’s not surprising to see people ditching dairy milk for plant-based varieties. “Got Milk?” Yes, but maybe not certain kinds.

#1: Skittles

Want to “taste the rainbow?” Well, not in Austria and Norway. That’s because Skittles, one of America’s most popular candies, is banned for containing the same food dyes as Pop-Tarts. Of course, we didn’t expect those bright colors to be a natural phenomenon. And if this has given you second thoughts about visiting these countries, we have some good news. In 2020, Mars announced they will remove artificial dyes from their "human food products," like Skittles and M&M's. However, this isn't an immediate change, as it will reportedly take roughly five years for this transition to take place. Hopefully, the Skittles will be just as sweet and delicious as before. By the way, Little Debbie Swiss Rolls and Gatorade also contain problematic dyes - just sayin’.