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Pass (on) the Haggis and Other Banned Foods in the U.S.

Posted on November 25, 2013

Farah & Farah has reported about the health dangers that tainted food can present to Americans, but did you know that some foods and drinks are banned altogether in the United States?

So, here’s the bad news. If you really have a craving for a Taiwanese delicacy called Pig’s Blood Cake, you will actually have to go to Taiwan to get it because it is illegal to serve in the United States. The ban could have something to do with the fact that this snack is a mixture of pig’s blood and rice. While it is indeed served on a stick, calling it “cake” seems like a bit of a stretch.

Unsavory imagery aside, U.S. regulators still consider the consumption of pig’s blood unsanitary and so Pig’s Blood Cake is banned here. Some may say, thankfully so.

Here is a list of some other foods and drinks banned in the United States:

1. Fugu
The inhabitants of Japan have been eating this fish for centuries, so why does the United States have a problem with this seemingly innocuous genus of pufferfish? Perhaps it’s the tetrodotoxin — a deadly poison — that teems through the fishes’ organs. If Fugu is improperly prepared, the poison can paralyze a diner’s muscles and the still conscious victim can die of asphyxiation. It seems to make sense that a meal that has the potential to end in death and that can only be prepared by certified chefs in Japan might find a roadblock here in America.

2. Haggis
Technically, Haggis is not completely banned in the United States. You may make it yourself (begging the question, why?), but it cannot be imported from the UK. The traditional Scottish meal is a collection of mouth-watering ingredients such as a sheep’s heart, liver, and lungs. Those ingredients are then cooked in a sheep’s stomach. Apparently, the U.S. government has no problem with the eating of the liver, heart or stomach — but it draws the line at eating sheep lungs.

Since no self-respecting Scot would make haggis without one of the main ingredients, it has not been imported into the U.S. for more than four decades.

3. Kinder Eggs
Children around the world are familiar with this German-made candy egg that has a milk chocolate shell and a white chocolate layer below the shell — oh, and a toy in the hollow center. The U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission has seen to it that U.S. kids aren’t familiar with the product — the candy has been labeled a “choking hazard” by the FDA and the fine for bringing them into the U.S. is $2,500 per egg.

4. Absinthe

This alcoholic drink, famous for its green color, hallucinogenic qualities, and its favored status amongst certain Impressionist painters, has been banned here for as long as anybody can remember. An extremely watered-down mixture with just a bit of wormwood in it is available in the U.S., but purists claim it is much akin to drinking green Koolaid with some alcohol in it.

5. Silverware and Fried Chicken in Gainesville, Georgia

Although not a food ban, Gainesville did pass an ordinance that bans the use of knives and forks while eating fried chicken — the city fathers apparently figuring there was something downright unnatural about that practice.