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. Liz

    Has whoever made this ridiculous rule ever actually had a Kinder Egg? They keep making it sound like it's a toy covered in chocolate. The toy is contained in a plastic container that's smaller than a walnut, and the chocolate egg is the size of a large chicken egg. The toy container flops around inside, and the chocolate is way too big for even an adult the size of Andre the Giant to just pop into their mouth.

    NOW.. more importantly, we looked into the whole "no kinder eggs available in the US" thing just this past October because we wanted to give them as favors at my daughter's wedding (they were a childhood favorite of hers when we lived in Germany).

    The reason we were given for their being forbidden had absolutely nothing to do with a choking hazard, but the fact that the plastic toy container came in direct contact with the chocolate, rather than having some form of 'food safe' wrapping between the plastic and the chocolate.

    The least our nanny state can do is keep their story straight, however ridiculous.

    April 22, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  2. Dave

    If your kid chokes on the huge plastic egg inside the chocolate, they have stupid parents or didn't get a full squirt themselves. Either way, there are sooo many better places to use government time and money. I would comment more, but my stupid kid just choked on a Hershey bar rapper so I have to go call my congressman to stop those evil Hershey people from wrapping their candy in harmful items!

    April 22, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
  3. Selene

    This is a stupid ban. I can list thousands of things that kids under 3 can choke on but is still allowed in everyday life. Parents need to be responsible for watching their kids.

    By the way this is also available in Taiwan, which was not listed in the article. I think everywhere else around the world except the USA has this. I am not crazy about the egg but it does taste pretty good (a lot of milk content) and my daughter absolutely loves the surprises (not necessarily the toys themselves). I have no hesitation giving these eggs to her. She's smart enough not to swallow the toys. Geez. Have some common sense.

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

    All the whiners about the stupid law, would be the first complaining if kids are swallowed the toy, etc. Never happy are we?

    April 22, 2011 at 10:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Liz

      That's not even a little bit true. We're the 500 smart Americans who abhor idiots who treat the law like a lottery.

      However, I do agree that perhaps this ban is a blessing in disguise to the manufacturers and distributors considering how litigious some Americans are.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:23 am | Report abuse |
  5. NomNom


    April 22, 2011 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. Brett Day

    Hmmm, so this means we are banning Happy meals for having non nutritive content in them too? Some of the toys in those things have small parts that a child could choke on! In fact why don'w we just ban food seeing as we could choke on that as well.

    April 22, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  7. Mr. Bones

    If we're banning candy for containing non-edible objects, then shouldn't the Palmer Candy Company pretty much be out of business? Their entire line of products is inedible; an embedded plastic trinket would actually be an improvement in most cases.

    April 22, 2011 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  8. Shane


    April 22, 2011 at 10:21 am | Report abuse |
  9. Bill

    This is the dumbest thing I've seen in a while, the gov needs to stop micromanaging our lives here. I remember those eggs when I was a kid in Germany. I always buy one when I go to a few of the international grocers in my area, hope they still can keep smuggling them in.

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

    Wait, their banned because a small child might choke? Isn't this what parents are for? What about the thousands of toys that have choke warnings on them? Why are we allowed to buy those? This is ridiculous.

    April 22, 2011 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  11. JBC

    I found a store selling these in florida!

    April 22, 2011 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  12. Naty

    I LOVE Kinder Eggs!!! I grew up eating the in Brazil even when I was a tiny tot. Why is it that kids from a third world country where we are apparently "undereducated" can figure out that you're only supposed to eat the yummy chocolate but the kids here cannot? I'm sure this is dude to one stupid parent and its stupid child being stupid and wanting someone to blame for it. Teach the kids some freaking responsibility and common freaking sense. BRING BACK KINDER EGGS!!!

    April 22, 2011 at 10:27 am | Report abuse |
    • Naty

      I meant DUE not dude! sorry!

      April 22, 2011 at 10:29 am | Report abuse |
  13. Matt

    What a joke... if the law makers spent a dime on this type of legislation, then Americans should be outraged. As a parent, I don't need somebody in DC telling me what I can and can't buy for my kids. Our kids have gotten these for years and my wife grew up with them always around her. If safety is the concern here, then there are many other types of items fair more dangerous than a Kinder Egg. Parents should be the deciding factor here and those in DC should not be over extending their authority. I don't think that any American wants to see the government wasting its time and our money on such BS. If they think it a legitimate usage of time and tax payer money... then don't expect to remain in office. Most Americans are getting tired of the same old political BS being handed down and eventually people will stand up and change who the government conducts its business.

    April 22, 2011 at 10:30 am | Report abuse |
    • Matt

      I meant "change how the government conducts its business" not who. They are there in office to represent the interests and wishes of "We the People"... maybe more common sense legislation would prevail if we used referendums more and the people actually had a real hand in deciding what was done.

      April 22, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  14. RGP

    I don't have small children and like to buy the KinderEggs as a seasonal reminder of the years we lived in Germany. So now, even though I have no small children in my household, I am no longer allowed to buy them? This is ridiculous! So my rights are now being taken away to protect the small children that I don't even have. If other countries allowed immigration as freely as the US does we would have been out of this country a long time ago. Living here just gets stupider by the day. Living abroad really opened my eyes as to how great we really aren't and how great some other countries really are. Just as an example, my healthcare experiences in Germany completely blow away anything the US has ever had to offer. Maybe we should focus on real issues instead of candy?

    April 22, 2011 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
  15. Jeffincanada

    Americans can't have a chocolate egg with a toy in it yet they can go to the bank and get a gun for opening an account! I wonder which will kill or injure more people.

    April 22, 2011 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
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