Kinder Surprise

It’s been a while since I’ve composed a non-film review post, but inspiration can come in the strangest of forms – in this case egg-shaped. For you see, whilst hosting a dinner party with some friends, the conversation naturally migrated from house prices and furniture towards the Kinder egg. OK, so a guest brought along some Kinder eggs as a novelty treat – and that’s what prompted the discussion.

Anyhow, it turns out that the humble Kinder egg is banned in the US.


Mistaken for a grenade?

So why eggsactly is it banned? the Kinder Egg is banned under the 1938 Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act which forbids “the sale of any candy that has embedded in it a toy or trinket.” Apparently, it transpires that you can be fined $2,500 for every egg that is imported into the States!

For my deprived US readers, once you’ve broken through the thin chocolatey shell of a Kinder egg, there’s a large plastic container inside that contains various mis-shapen lumps of plastic that come together to form a car, plane or other such trinket. The size of the plastic container prohibits young children from choking on it.

carMy Kinder egg contained a Looney Tunes figure, but this one (thank you Google Image Search) is more like what I remember from being a kid (note the two halfs of the shell no longer separate).

Maybe there’s a money making opportunity here to market some ‘I survived the Kinder egg’ novelty T-shirts.

In the UK, we have an expression ‘Health and safety gone mad’, which seems to be well and truly alive in America as well. This is one of those stories that one assumes to be an Urban Legend – but it’s true.

Addendum: It’s widely reported (Wikipedia and other sites) that there have been 7 deaths attributed to choking on a Kinder egg. That’s 7 deaths in 20 years – worldwide. Compare that to the hot-dog, which kills 5 children per year in the US (source: So, extrapolating how much more dangerous a hot dog is than a Kinder egg, we can just say 5×20=100 and 100/7=14.285. Clearly it would be palpable nonsence to ban the hot dog, even though it is responsible for approximately 14 times as many child deaths over a 20 year time span.


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