Illegal Foods

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the foods we purchase in stores and consume in restaurants. The FDA ensures the foods we eat are safe, non-toxic, and free from bacteria and pathogens. Additionally, the U.S. government makes sure endangered species don’t show up on our plates. However, not all countries are as rigorous in assuring food quality. These 17 foods are banned in the United States, but you probably won’t miss most of them.

17. Ackee Fruit

Ackee Fruit

While ackee fruit is the national fruit of Jamaica, it is illegal to import it into the United States. This fruit is safe to consume when properly ripened, but can lead to vomiting, coma, and death if consumed before ripening. The unripened fruit contains toxins called hypoglycin. These toxins can lower blood sugar, leading to dangerous levels of hypoglycemia. The edible portions are the yellow arilli, while the black seeds are always poisonous.

16. Beluga Caviar

Beluga Caviar

This caviar is harvested from the Beluga sturgeon, which is a severely endangered species. In 2005, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service banned the importation of beluga products, including caviar, from the Caspian Sea. True caviar is specifically a product of sturgeon. However, if you enjoy the salty flavor of fish roe, you can legally enjoy delicacies such as salmon caviar, Kentucky spoonfish caviar, or Mote Marine Siberian caviar.


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