Stars, Stripes, and Food Fights: 10 American Foods the World Has BANNED, Leaving Taste Buds in TEARS!

By Krystal Brown

The world of food is full of intriguing flavors and diverse culinary traditions. However, some American foods have faced the disapproving gaze of international standards and are banned in various corners of the globe.

Here is a list of 10 American foods that are banned in other countries:


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You may be surprised to learn that U.S. chicken is banned in many places in the world. The reason is that American chickens are washed in a chlorine solution before they are put on the market. The European Union is just one place that doesn’t accept this meat. Why does the U.S. chlorinate chickens? It’s to kill any salmonella which may be present on the chicken. However, chickens in the EU, and many other countries, vaccinate their chickens from salmonella and therefore, washing them isn’t needed.


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Another food that the EU doesn’t accept is apples. While many see this as the ultimate health food, other parts of the world don’t see it that way if it comes from America. As with many entries in this list, it’s to do with what is added to the food. In the case of apples, it’s something called diphenylamine (DPA) which is used to stop the apples from turning brown. The problem is that DPA is a potentially carcinogenic compound and therefore many countries advise against consuming it.

Ground Beef

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Ground beef often gets transported around the world, but many countries won’t accept it from America. If you’re an American, then you may have noticed a pink slime on your ground beef, but this shouldn’t be there naturally. It’s added as a filler to reduce the fat content. Around 70% of all ground beef in the USA contains this slime. The problem with this substance is that it’s made by using ammonia gas, which is dangerous for humans to come into contact with.


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The meat that countries ban from America doesn’t stop there. The EU, along with the likes of China or Russia, also ban pork. The reason is that ractopamine is given to pigs in the U.S. to accelerate their growth and make them leaner. Unsurprisingly, ractopamine can cause issues if consumed by humans. Although approved by the FDA with advice on an acceptable daily intake, many have linked ractopamine to many negative effects on the heart, as it can cause cardiovascular stress.


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Many find Coffee-Mate to be a great solution to their coffee needs, but you won’t find this in many countries, including much of Europe. While the flavorings aren’t seen as an issue, other ingredients are, such as hydrogenated soybean and cottonseed oils. These oils are full of dangerous trans fats which have been closely linked to a huge range of issues. High intake of trans fats can lead the likes of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. No one should be consuming a large amount of trans fats.

Skittles, Fruit Loops, and Twinkies

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I know that you might be thinking, what do Skittles, Fruit Loops, and Twinkies have in common? As you may have worked out, all of these foods have food dye added to make them more colorful and attractive. But one specific food dye is worse than the rest and it’s called Yellow 5. Many countries ban this from their food as it can cause hyperactivity in children and are also known to cause allergic reactions. And given these foods are often aimed at kids, that’s bad news.


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Specifically, we’re talking about milk which comes from cows fed with a growth hormone called rBGH. This is a synthetic hormone that helps cows to produce more milk but isn’t a good idea at all for human consumption. These find their way into the milk and will cause a rise in a hormone called IFG-1. This is a well-known carcinogen and can increase the risk of many cancers, but especially breast cancer. Thankfully less than 10% of US milk is now made using rBGH


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It’s specifically the farm-raised salmon that is banned in a few countries. These fish are often kept in harsh conditions which aren’t very ethical but that is not the issue. Instead, the problem is with what the salmon are fed. Often their feed is highly processed and can contain chemicals such as methylmercury and dioxins. Another issue is that these salmon are often given antibiotics too. All these substances can make their way into humans.

Maraschino Cherries

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What’s wrong with these perfect little cherries, you may ask. Well, the problem is that the cherries are just a little too perfect. Famously used in cocktails, there is more to these cherries than meets the eye. To get that perfect deep red color, a dye is often added called Red #40. This is also used in plenty of other foods and has not only been linked to migraines or allergies, but also mental disorders. It’s no surprise that most of Europe won’t accept them.

Instant Mashed Potatoes

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The final entrant on our list is instant mashed potatoes. It won’t surprise you to learn that this good is full of additives and preservatives. Due to this, it’s banned in many countries including the EU, Australia, and Japan. One of those preservatives they use is called Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA) which has strongly been linked to cancer. Next time, it may be the healthiest choice to make your own mashed potatoes!

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