8 American Foods Banned in Other Parts of the World

When it comes to food, America’s “more is better” philosophy often spills into the realm of additives and preservatives. 

However, the preservatives added to extend shelf-life, and the additives put in for enhanced flavoring or appearance, make many food products almost unfit for consumption in countries outside the United States. 

While some food brands and items have traveled far and wide, like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s, others have been banned because of the harmful ingredients they contain.

What’s on the Menu? Not These American Foods 

American foods frequently contain added preservatives to prolong the product’s shelf-life.

While this might seem like a boon for budget-conscious shoppers in America to stock up on, most nations beg to differ. 

Many countries have stringent regulations or outright bans on items that are present in most American pantries. 

1. Froot Loops

Froot Loops, the fruit-flavored cereal American children enjoy for breakfast, claims to have nine vitamins and minerals and is made from whole grain.

While that may sound ‘healthy,’ the cereal has been banned in countries including France, Austria, Norway, and Finland. 

That is because the cereal’s use of food dyes like Yellow 5 and Red 40 has raised health concerns. These dyes are linked to numerous health problems, such as cancer and hyperactivity (ADHD), and have no place in European breakfast bowls.

2. Mountain Dew

The citrus taste of the Mountain Dew drink comes with a side of brominated vegetable oil (BVO).

This emulsifier, related to flame retardants, accumulates in the human body, posing risks like memory loss and nerve troubles. This is why places like Japan and countries across Europe won’t sell it.

3. Skittles

Skittles might be fun and fruity, but certain colors in that mix have raised health concerns

Yellow 5 and Yellow 6, found within these sweets, have been linked to hyperactivity in children and worrisome health effects in animal studies.

Skittles also contain titanium dioxide, so several European countries have banned them, although the FDA asserts that the chemical can safely be consumed in low quantities.

4. U.S. Milk

Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Japan, and the EU all question American milk, specifically its use of synthetic hormones like rBGH. 

rBGH is used to boost milk production and has been prohibited due to concerns over its safety and necessity.   

5. Chlorinated Chicken

Chlorinated chicken, a method used in the U.S. to combat foodborne illnesses, is a no-go practice in the UK and EU. 

The practice of washing chicken in chlorine and other disinfectants is seen as a cover-up for subpar farming conditions, prompting these regions to prohibit such poultry and produce.

Instead, the EU recommends maintaining high-farming and production standards to prevent the risk of salmonella and other bacteria.

6. Little Debbie’s Swiss Rolls

In many countries, the sweet treats Americans love don’t make it to the shelves. One of these products is Little Debbie’s Swiss Rolls. 

You will never spot them in Norway and Austria because these products use dangerous color dyes.

Little Debbie’s Swiss Rolls are made with Yellow 5 and Red 40, colors which may contain cancer-causing substances. In Europe, food products that include these ingredients must carry a warning label that alerts consumers to their potential harm to children.

7. Coffee-Mate Creamer

Coffee-Mate, a lactose-free coffee creamer, contains trans fats, which are believed to be bad for the heart. These added trans fats were banned in the U.S. after 2018, but they still pop up in food products occasionally.

Countries like Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, and Denmark have all strictly regulated trans fats. That’s why Coffee-Mate, which includes soybean and cottonseed oils, cannot be found in those nations’ stores.

8. High-Fructose Corn Syrup

High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) is a common sweetener in many American products, from drinks to breakfast cereals to ice cream. 

However, it has been linked to health problems like obesity and type 2 diabetes.

While it’s not completely banned anywhere, it’s walking a fine line. The UK and some European countries are monitoring the quantities used in the products they sell.  


This article was produced by TPR Teaching.

Caitriona Maria is an education writer and founder of TPR Teaching, crafting inspiring pieces that promote the importance of developing new skills. For 7 years, she has been committed to providing students with the best learning opportunities possible, both domestically and abroad. Dedicated to unlocking students' potential, Caitriona has taught English in several countries and continues to explore new cultures through her travels.

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