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12 Foods That Are Illegal to Eat in the US

Edited By: Jake Ramirez
 The average grocery store in the United States offers you a choice of around 47,000 different products, according to Consumer Reports. Taking that fact into consideration, it’s probably good to know that there are actually certain kinds of food that have been outlawed for any of a number of reasons. Here are 13 foods that are illegal in the United States:
 
1. Raw Milk 
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The problem with raw milk is that it hasn’t been pasteurized, meaning that it exposes those who consume it to harmful bacteria. That’s why the US Food and Drug Administration chose to ban it. With that being said, you can still buy raw milk in small amounts directly from farms in 21 states.
2. Kinder Surprise Eggs
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Although these are great fun and loved all over Europe, the FDA chose to outlaw them on the basis that children might choke on the small toys hidden inside them. Luckily for US consumers, however, a new FDA-approved variety of the egg called Kinder Joy is set to be launched this year.
3. Shark Fins
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Shark fin soup is considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, but that doesn’t make the brutal and illegal practice of “finning” any more justifiable. Shark fishermen often slice off a shark’s fin and just throw it back in the sea, leaving it to sink to the seabed and die. Nevertheless, only 11 states have outlawed the consumption of shark fin soup so far.
4. Beluga Caviar
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Most varieties of caviar are completely legal to eat, however, beluga caviar, which comes from the critically endangered beluga sturgeon, has been illegal to import into the US since 2005.
5. Fugu 
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Fugu is a variety of puffer fish so potent that it can have an intoxicating effect after eating it at best, and kill you at worst. That’s why a fugu chef goes through three years of rigorous training to learn how to prepare it properly. It’s generally illegal to consume fugu around the world – not just the US.
6. Redfish
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This tasty fish was almost fished to extinction, and that’s why its sale and consumption is illegal in 49 out of 50 US states. It can only be legally sold and consumed in the state of Mississippi.
 
7. Queen Conch 
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Yet another sea creature that almost became extinct due to overfishing is outlawed throughout the US.
8. Sassafras
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In the past, this plant was used for everything from medicinal purposes to flavoring root beer, but researchers eventually found that it contained a substance called saffron, which is carcinogenic. Its use since that discovery has been limited as a result.
9. Ackee
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Native to West Africa, however also very popular in Jamaica, ackees need to be ripened properly before consumption, and that’s because they can be toxic. They can make blood glucose dip to dangerous levels, and that was enough for the FDA to ban their consumption.
10. Ortolan 
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Similar to redfish you read about above, the ortolan was also almost hunted to extinction because people loved eating them so much. Hunting and eating the bird is now illegal throughout the US and European Union.
11. Sea Turtle
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Many of the seven existing species of sea turtle are endangered, so it’s no surprise that eating them is against the law in the US. Why anyone would want to eat these beautiful creatures is beyond us anyway…
12. Horse Meat
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Horse meat is perfectly legal to eat in most parts of the world, but Americans, just like the British, are far too attached to their horses and everything they represent to consider eating them. That’s probably why eating horse meat is outlawed in the US.
 
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