Easter reminder: Kinder Eggs banned in the United States
April 21st, 2011
08:01 PM ET

Easter reminder: Kinder Eggs banned in the United States

Not all eggs are created equal in the eyes of U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Kinder Eggs, a popular European chocolate egg that contains a toy inside, is banned from importation into the United States because it contains a "non-nutritive object embedded in it."

With the Easter holiday around the corner, the agency issued the reminder this week, warning that the candy is considered unsafe for children under 3. Last year, Customs and Border Protection seized 25,000 of them in 1,700 incidents.

The hollow egg, which is sold by the Italian confectioner Ferrero, is available in Europe, Canada, Australia and parts of Latin America under various names including Kinder Surprise and Kinder Sorpresa. It has taken on a cult status among adults who collect the toys, which vary from rings to animals and cartoon characters.

Kinder Eggs' scarcity in the United States has made them an object of desire: Various websites and online forums are dedicated to acquiring them.

Some are apparently hiding in plain sight. Earlier this week, DNAinfo.com, a New York City neighborhood guide, posted a story and slideshow showing stores where the coveted treats can be found.

"While there are some commercial-sized seizures that occur, most Kinder Eggs are seized in personal baggage or at mail and express consignment facilities," Customs and Border Protection said.

A Canadian woman reportedly learned her lesson the hard way.

The woman was selected for a random search at a border checkpoint in Minnesota when officials discovered she was carrying a Kinder Egg and took it from her, The Toronto Star reported.

A few weeks later, she received a 7-page letter asking if she wanted the egg back or if she was going to abandon rights to it, the Star reported.

"I was in disbelief," she told the newspaper. "It's a $2 egg."

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Filed under: Food • Holidays • U.S.
soundoff (690 Responses)
  1. Tekara

    What I find so amusing about all the comments here is that no one seems to realize that Kinder eggs have NEVER been allowed to be sold in the US.

    April 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  2. evZENy

    There are not banned. We have them in most of the European supermarkets in Chicagoland. We buy them all the time for the kids. Saw them in Boston on Easter too.

    April 26, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • anonCNN

      Just because you can buy them doesn't mean they aren't banned.

      May 4, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  3. escargot

    I see this as just more government control of our lives. A hidden object. Are you serious. Why can't this country focus on what is important. Jobs are important. The national debt is important. Cleaning up BP's mess is important. Education is important. Protecing me from things I cannot protect myself from is what they are supposed to do. Banning these eggs some how does not make my list.

    April 26, 2011 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Smuba

      I don't see how regulating the quality of the food we eat is "not important". The fact is you cannot have an edible product containing an inedible product sold in the US. That rule was in place long before these eggs came along. If the federal government put this rule in place specifically because of these eggs, then I would agree with you, but to be completely dismissive toward having a national policy over food safety seems naive.

      May 4, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • momofthree

      Smuba, have you ever had a Kinder Egg? It's not like a little egg that you pop in your mouth and then choke on the "non-nutritive object" inside. Kinder Eggs are slightly bigger than a chicken egg, so you have to either break it or bite into it to eat it. There is little chance that you will unknowingly eat the toy. It's not a safety issue, because if you think about it, it's really no different than eating a fortune cookie, which also contains something inedible inside, yet is perfectly legal to buy and sell in the US. It's for the same reason they want to ban Happy Meal toys: the government doesn't think we're capable of making our own decisions about what we should eat, so they want to ban these chocolate eggs with toys from the country because they think we're too fat and don't need to eat chocolate eggs, especially if they are more desirable by putting little toys inside.

      May 9, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Kevin G. in Texas

    Does anyone know what the death toll is (so far) from the Kinder eggs? You can buy these wonderful products pretty much everywhere in the industrialized world except for the US. So I'm guessing that little kids are dropping dead pretty much everywhere because they don't have the govt protections that we do here in US.

    April 26, 2011 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeremy

      Nice...

      May 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • John W

      Think of the children! The Amish also don't buy their food from the supermarkets, those Nazis! Milk straight from the cow is mega dangerous, that's why we've been drinking it that was for thousands of years.

      Government control over food has gotten out of hand. Safety precautions are good and fine. But individuals should have the right to waive those precautions if they desire. Government protection of my well-being should not preclude my freedom to make choices.

      May 12, 2011 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. Marcus

    Well I certainly feel safer knowing our borders are now completely secure in halting the influx of illegal & tasty treats.

    April 27, 2011 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Andy

    Interesting that the Feds allow a company to import cheap knockoffs from CHINA. google choco treasure eggs

    April 28, 2011 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
  7. CR

    This is the biggest load ever. How many toy and FOOD recalls have happened from China and yet our government thinks Kinder eggs are dangerous? Kinder eggs of all things?! Ok, so my kids can't have whole milk chocolate without preservatives, but I'll let them have this toy coated in lead paint from China. That's so much safer!

    April 30, 2011 at 9:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Stan

      How many food recalls have happened from local food companies?

      May 4, 2011 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
  8. dude

    I believe the kinder egg ban is a result of a trade war between the US and Germany that started over chickens. I agree to the idea that it is ridiculous

    May 1, 2011 at 1:50 pm | Report abuse |
  9. NeutralObserver

    Are American kids so damn stupid that the government has to ban candy eggs to protect them from eating the toy within? If that were true, I'd fear the day those tots became adults running the country; it would truly be The Land of Morons.

    May 3, 2011 at 2:44 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Choco-holic

    The government has to step in because clearly american parents are not as responsible as euro parents and the fact that is called a SURPRISE egg is not enough info to let them know that there is a surprise inside. Its probably for the best bcuz it would only take one US child to have the yellow container in his mouth and the parents would sue Ferrero. Then we all lose....

    May 4, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  11. Kay

    This is ridiculous. Should toddlers be given this candy? No, but plenty of people beat their kids with leather belts, too, and we haven't banned the import of those.

    Lord Christ. New Orleans bakers sell scads of king cakes every year–each one with a plastic Baby Jesus hidden in it... At least with those chocolate eggs, people know exactly where the plastic trinket's gonna be.

    May 4, 2011 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Mick Travis

    This CHOKING HAZARD ALERT brought to you by the American Association of Ambulance-Chasing Lawyers, who urge you to not even think about calling on us for help when your toddler chokes to death on one of these things. We have far better cases to work on, and you can always have more children. But considering what fit parents you are I seriously doubt that you should have had the ones that you do.

    Thank you.

    May 5, 2011 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  13. Mick Travis

    On another note, why on earth would anyone want to eat something with a piece of plastic stuffed inside, especially if it's baked in an oven, like king cake is?

    May 5, 2011 at 7:18 am | Report abuse |
  14. GetReal

    This is all about money. The U.S. doesn't care about safety, or they wouldn't approve half the drugs and "food" products they sell. This is an economic decision.

    May 7, 2011 at 12:30 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Canada

    I actually had no idea that these were banned in the USA, growing up in Canada Kinder Surprises have been a staple of my Easter every year- And lemme tell ya, nobody cares about the chocolate itself, we smash the egg open to get to the toy!

    Here anyways, its a hollow egg that is large enough to fill your hand, and inside is a plastic capsule that opens up to reveal your toy, which you assemble yourself. That is what we have found fun about the egg, mostly the chocolate just gets discarded 😛

    May 11, 2011 at 2:31 pm | Report abuse |
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