Updated: Nov 7, 2017 8:17 pm
While the U.S. government has guidelines and rules in place meant to protect consumers from eating potentially harmful foods, several everyday snacks — including boxed mac-and-cheese — are banned in other countries due to potential health risks.
Obviously, mac-and-cheese isn't poisonous on its own, but the yellow food colorings #5 and #6 have been shown to cause hypersensitivity in children, which is why the countries of Finland, Norway, and Australia have banned manufactures from using artificial food coloring. Here are a few surprisingly common foods that are banned in other countries.
Boxed Pasta or Bread Made With Azodicarbonamide
Azo-what? The chemical azodicarbonamide is a food additive and is usually found in frozen dinners, boxed pasta mixes, breads, and packaged baked goods. Azodicarbonamide is also used as a flour bleaching agent and dough conditioner. According to the FDA, however, the use of azodicarbonamide is not a necessary ingredient in bread-making. In addition to whitening and extending the shelf-life or our bread, azodicarbonamide can also be found in most foamed plastics.
Azodicarbonamide is banned in Singapore, Australia, and most European countries due to reports of it causing asthmatic symptoms in humans.
Mac and Cheese Containing Coloring Agents
Coloring agents can be found in most processed foods including, but not limited to, mac and cheese, candy, cheddar-flavored crackers, and Jell-O. While some coloring agents are harmless, blue #1, blue #2, yellow #5, yellow #6, and red #40, have raised more than a few health concerns. Researchers found a correlation between these coloring agents and cancer, behavioral problems, birth defects, and other health problems in lab animals. In addition, yellow #6 — found in most boxed macaroni and cheese — has been shown to cause hypersensitivity in children.
Although the European Union requires companies to include a warning notice on foods containing dye, Austria, Finland, and Norway have banned the use of artificial food dyes altogether.