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. LauraJ

    Our tax dollars at work. STUPID

    April 21, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dan

    OMG, living proof that a government that can't balance the budget yet has time enough to pass laws banning import of a childs egg, give me a break! It's no wonder everyone in the world hates us, we're dumber then a box of rocks. Parents who aren't smart enough to check their toddler's candy before they eat it don't need to be parents at all. Yep Customs, what alert level do you have for Kinder Eggs! We live in a very sad society of pathetic and wimpy individuals who lack courage and conviction.

    April 21, 2011 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jeff in Illinois

      I believe there is a Red Jelly Bean alert level for Kinder Eggs.

      April 21, 2011 at 11:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • power4things

      The insanity continues ... the import ban forces up the price of Kinder Eggs, creating a cartel that will find new ways aoround Customs to protect Americans from themselves. Oh, sorry, that's another import we can't control – drugs. Yeah, and what about the corndogs ...??? No wonder they x-ray us at the airport!! I also agree, how 'bout we start working on who's going to pay our $13T debt. If that number looks familiar, it's also our annual GDP. A bit tougher than kinder eggs ...

      April 22, 2011 at 1:28 am | Report abuse |
  3. Lee

    Everybody....This is what happens, and you can blame our courts. Parents will buy this and give it to their child, child will choke on it, parents will sue.....Its too much trouble to actually share with your child the experience of a kinder egg. Parents have to text on the cell phone and all that stuff.............

    April 21, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • GermanDeli

      Lee...This all started with an old law from the 1930s, originally meant to keep food from being contaminated by non-food additives. It has been stretched to include items like Kinder Eggs where a non-food item is surrounded by a food. My company [GermanDeli dot com] was singled out in 2008/2009 and I (company president) was threatened with Federal imprisonment and an astronomical fine unless we quit selling them. I begrudgingly obey although others don't.

      April 22, 2011 at 2:01 am | Report abuse |
    • Bogey

      GermanDeli food is not fit for human consumption. It is rancid and has a bad reputation. I would never buy from there.

      April 22, 2011 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  4. Melanie

    I am really lost for words here. I grew up on Kinder Eggs, my kids grew up on them , and now my grand kids are enjoying them. I bring them them back every time I go to Germany. To those of you who are complaining to buy American chocolate – shut up! To those of you who are complaining about how dangerous they are – shut up! As many people pointed out, the toy comes in a yellow capsule that is very hard to open, and if you are stupid and let your little one play with small toys, then you are an Idiot!

    April 21, 2011 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • GermanDeli

      We agree totally with you, Melanie.

      April 22, 2011 at 2:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Linda

      You are right! I grew up in Germany and in Italy with Kinder eggs and the Italian Easter egg tradition. My children ate them, I gave them to the kids at birthday parties in Italy, nobody complained. With little kids you have obviosly to superwise them and the yellow shell is really hard to open for a little child, my kids always asked me to open them for them.
      What about jelly beans, M&Ms etc containing tons of artificial colors and harmful too for little kids?
      It's a commercial ban!!!

      April 22, 2011 at 7:39 am | Report abuse |
  5. I like them

    the law banning these things was passed in the 1930's. It banned importing any food items with non-food items contained inside. I didn't know about the law until a store nearby was forced to stop selling them a couple years ago.

    April 21, 2011 at 11:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • GermanDeli

      You are correct. It's an old law meant to keep food from being contaminated by non-food additives. It has been stretched to include items like Kinder Eggs where a non-food item is surrounded by a food. My company [GermanDeli dot com] was singled out in 2008/2009 and I (company president) was threatened with Federal imprisonment and an astronomical fine unless we quite selling them.

      April 22, 2011 at 1:52 am | Report abuse |
    • Bogey

      GermanDeli food is a laxative.

      April 22, 2011 at 7:52 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joey

    @ a.d.d.boy:
    Bravo nom de plume!

    April 21, 2011 at 11:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Batcher

    This reminds me of a scary Goosebumps book I read once: The Egg That Ate Everyone. We live during a scary time people. Don't give the chocolates any mercy!

    April 21, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Mick

    Welcome to the United Nanny States of America.

    April 21, 2011 at 11:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Feeling safe

    I feel so much safer knowing that my government has spent millions of dollars to protect me from the EGG. What will they spend money on to protect me from next?

    April 21, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joey

    Chocolate, hell!
    Faberge' eggs.

    April 21, 2011 at 11:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Robin of the Hood

    I have a dozen of them in my freezer. come get me coppers...

    April 21, 2011 at 11:36 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jake

    20 years ago parents still were deemed capable of knowing what toys to give to their children and how to supervise them so they don't die. Apparently today most people are too retarded so they need to be protected from little plastic parts.
    Probably people should not be allowed to bear children, because that might actually increase the chance that the child might die.

    April 21, 2011 at 11:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jane

      Spread the Word to End the Word!


      April 22, 2011 at 12:24 am | Report abuse |
  13. Humberto

    These chocolates were so widespread in the area of Mexico I grew up in. I enjoyed them as a kid, and I definitely do not recall being close to choking on them. The objects inside the chocolate aren't even that small. Don't Americans like it when things are bigger? Or has it become easy to choke on that as well?

    April 21, 2011 at 11:38 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Virginia

    I've been bringing this eggs for 25 years now for my kids, and they have enjoyed putting all the toys together Its an educational toy for them. There's nothing wrong with it, its the parents responsibility which age group is this kinder eggs appropriate to give not the govt. to tell us you can't have it.

    April 21, 2011 at 11:47 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Dustin

    Oh No! Now we have to ban King Cake.

    April 21, 2011 at 11:48 pm | Report abuse |
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