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. kathleen

    I see some folks on here saying "why is the government getting involved, it's just candy, stop the nanny laws"
    Please keep in mind that the majority of americans have relinquished their rights over to the government maany years ago. With law suits for every kind of common sense infraction citizens have demanded that the government take over all thought processes & actions for a "safer" place to live.
    So many americans don't want to bother with making decisions themselves and when an action fails they say 'there should be a law against that"

    April 22, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. Chris

    too funny. Next Arizona will adopt a law allowing anyone on the street to be stopped for a Kinder Egg search.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. John Q.

    An outright ban seems over the top to me, but nothing surprises me anymore in this country. Last week I read some schools in Seattle I think it was have banned Easter Eggs entirely, they are to be called "Spring Spheres" instead so as not to offend anybody.

    April 22, 2011 at 8:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Well I guess they didnt want to upset the christians seeing as how the egg idea is a carry over from pagan pre-christian beliefs. 😛

      April 22, 2011 at 9:25 am | Report abuse |
    • Earl

      No, this didn't happen.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:39 am | Report abuse |
    • Dave

      sure did, check out the story on mynorthwes.com.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Cedar Rapids

      Except no one knows who the student was who said this, the teacher who apparently said to call them spring spheres, or even the school this supposedly took place at.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:12 am | Report abuse |
  4. Elizabeth

    Seriously? In America we do some of the dumbest things possible. We ban a chocolate that has a toy inside, INDIRECTLY. It's impossible for a child to eat the egglike material that CONTAINS the toy. But then again, this is no surprise. On all plastic bags, which are themselves harmful because of the ways we use them in the USA, it says "caution, do not use for cribs" etc. How dumb can we be?

    April 22, 2011 at 8:53 am | Report abuse |
  5. Moe B

    Anyone who has ever had a Kinder Egg knows that the toy is encased in a plastic egg which is relatively IMPOSSIBLE to open without parental assistance! Many times my children have been frustrated trying to get to the real treat which is inside the impenetrable plastic egg. Poor little American children....are they really that slow that they would eat the plastic??

    April 22, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  6. POD

    The 'nanny state' strikes again!

    April 22, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  7. Uncle Meat

    So why no outrage for Louisiana (Cajun) "King Cakes"? They have a small plastic toy baby hidden inside... no one worries about a young kid getting that in a piece of cake and choking to death...

    April 22, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  8. M. M.

    This is ridiculous. Whoever decided on this should not be "making laws."

    So what does this mean, only Europeans are smart enough to not eat the toy?

    And for the record, Kinder chocolate is delicious.

    April 22, 2011 at 9:01 am | Report abuse |
  9. Andrew

    Problem is, normal kids around the world break the Kinder eggs into smaller pieces before eating them, eliminating the possibility of swallowing the "prize," but most American kids are so fat that they can jam the whole thing in their mouth like a jellybean, thus the choking hazard.

    April 22, 2011 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Scott

      LOL,,,,@ Andrew, you just blew my posting away. LOL,,,good point.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Brandon

      "Om nom nom MOAR EGGERS!!!"

      I bet some would eat it so fast that they'd swallow the plastic case inside, too...

      April 22, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Willie The Pimp

      Do you mean the "normal kids" who can only afford to get a kinder egg once a month and cant even fit a jelly bean in their stomach because they havent eaten in days? Get real,man. Get hip, man. Get out in the real world, man.

      April 22, 2011 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • Angelique

      Andrew – so very true – and I have to agree with Stephanie and her post: if you can actually get that whole egg into your esophagus (nearly impossible) than you deserve to choke. It's just stupid to do that or not knowing that a toy is inside, thus to be removed before eating....duhhhhhhhh

      April 22, 2011 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
  10. bp

    and yet our children are fed chicken nuggets, pizza and corn dogs at least three days a week at school.................

    April 22, 2011 at 9:04 am | Report abuse |
    • Frankenstein

      Thats good food!

      April 22, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
    • Angelique

      Oh yes, very nutritious aside all the other crap they eat like chips, sour drops, tons of super-delicious cereals, To this day, prisoners and hospital patients get a better and healthier menu than the average kid does at home........Hmmmmmm, but please save our children from the "dangerous" chocolate egg (hilarious).

      April 22, 2011 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Annie

    I had no idea they were banned here – how utterly ridiculous!

    We were in Ireland last month and my kids had these on the plane back to Florida - I guess it's a good job they ate them all up!

    April 22, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
  12. Scott

    @ "Al", are you kidding? Choking? How is that when as a parent they should be monitoring what they eat and when they eat it? No kids are dying from eating these eggs in Canada, the U.K., or in Europe so how does the gov't ban justify something that is not happening in other countries? This is ridicolous. Also, in France there is a baked pastry that is part of their Christmas Holiday called "galette des rois" which holds a little male or female object and the person who finds it becomes the King or Queen for the day. That is traditional. There are no kids choking to death on these things. This ban is pointless and stupid.

    What this ban is about is another typical boomer/hippie mandate of creating a stink about something that has no basis in fact but only based on fear for something that has not happened yet. They love to rant about non-factual evidence with the usuall "but it could happen". Well, anything COULD happen but unless it has, spending time on it is pointless especially when the rest of the has no problems dealing with this egg. What a joke.

    These things never occurred before the boomer generation became middle-aged and began to act as though they are holier-than-though with the "we know better than you" mindsets.

    April 22, 2011 at 9:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Andrew

      Good post, so true, whatever it takes to amp up the fear factor. It looks like another case of the American gov't "protecting" the people because they seem to think the people are too stupid to protect themselves.

      April 22, 2011 at 9:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Carol

      The government won't be happy until we are all afraid to leave our homes, save if we are wrapped in bubble wrap and perhaps steel cases. When we are very afraid the government will have won.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:22 am | Report abuse |
  13. Amanda

    "You can walk around with a loaded pistol, or leave it in your home for your kids to hurt each other with, but you can't have a Kinder Egg... ???"

    Totally makes sense, doesn't it!? I grew up on these eggs and needless to say...I'm fine. They clearly advertise it contains a toy. Just like everything else, it's the parents responsibility to supervise their children. This country gets crazy sometimes!!

    April 22, 2011 at 9:11 am | Report abuse |
  14. Mark

    Just more proof that America is paranoid and crazy!

    April 22, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  15. notadumbamerican

    My kids frequently had these when we lived abroad. The toy is contained INSIDE A PLASTIC EGG. The toy is NOT embedded in the chocolate. My toddlers were never dumb enough to eat the plastic egg inside the hollow chocolate.

    April 22, 2011 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
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