I just received an e-mail that I can’t get out of my head. Although I don’t know the complete circumstances yet, this British dad lost a child to choking on a chocolate egg. A chocolate egg that contains another plastic egg inside. Inside that is a toy or parts of a toy.
I can’t begin to picture what it must have been like for this dad: His child died from a chocolate egg.
I really didn’t know much about these eggs, but after a few minutes of research, I learned that Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs are extremely popular in Europe. Americans like them too, even though they were recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission back in 1997 and illegal since 1938.
“Retailers who are unaware that the product has been banned for sale should remove it from store shelves, and parents should take them away from children,” CPSC spokeswoman Julie Vallese told the Washington Post in April.
Although the biggest maker of the candy – Ferrero Group of Italy – honors the U.S. ban, other manufacturers find ways of getting the colorfully packaged products into the states. This New Jersey firm, for example, still seems to be selling the candy.
The bereaved dad who e-mailed me also mentioned he is part of an effort to get the candies banned throughout Europe. This dad says there have been over 100 injury-related incidents in the last few years, including three deaths in the United Kingdom.
I suspect this dad is fighting a huge uphill battle, because of the products’ huge popularity. As you read the comments left by American fans of the candy, you can see the intense devotion that surrounds the things:
I love the Kinder egg toys and have 1000’s of them in my collection. It is irresponsible parents who are to blame if their child chokes on the toy or pieces, not the toy or the Kinder egg. These people are looking for someone to blame for their own negligence. How many kids choke on game pieces, dice, hotdogs, grapes, etc? Are these going to be banned also? Other countries laugh when they hear that these kinder eggs are “illegal” in the US and when asked we usually comment that our government must think American kids are too dumb to notice they shouldn’t put the toy in their mouths. Get real, start making people responsible for their own actions!
I CANNOT believe this! I love these chocolate eggs! I have so many fond memories of these eggs and I remember being so excited to open the egg shell and see the little capsule inside knowing there was a toy in there just for me! This is an outrage! Wow! Report stores in the US that carry them? Ya! I’ll report it to all my friends and make sure they know exactly where to buy them from! We ALL LOVE THEM! I’m 28 years old and I still get excited to see what’s inside the capsule.
This whole ban of Kinder Surprise eggs is just total insanity. The government has found just one more way to control everything. Do they not realize children can choke on anything? It doesn’t have to be plastic, they can choke on food too! This is enraging that our government is this stupid.
Oh no! How typical of America...now they will deny everyone the joy of Kinder eggs because lawsuit happy and irresponsible American parents can’t take the time to make sure their young children don’t eat the toys inside! I love these Kinder eggs! They have been a special and delicious treat since childhood and now I’ll have to order them from Germany (via their website) or just pick up a bunch when I visit this summer :( If some dumb American kid chokes on a toy because the parents are not responsible enough to watch them and give them age appropriate candy - then too bad...it’s time we start Darwin’ing out all the idiots!
Seriously folks!! Kids under the age of three couldn’t be eating chocolate in the first place. And really, a child can choke on a pen cap so we shouldn’t sell ink pens either. How about other Easter candy that kids can choke on.....jelly beans, malt eggs, M&M’s, lifesavers, etc. Kids can choke on ANYTHING. Parents just need to watch their kids and Americans in general need to stop with the petty lawsuits.
The ban is stupid. People who buy Kinder Surprise eggs know what’s inside them, and it’s rather unlikely that a child would somehow manage to suddenly devour the egg and the hard plastic capsule inside. Have any children actually been seriously injured by these eggs? I doubt it, and it’s really more a question of parental supervision than dangerous foods. The U.S. Government is “protecting” us from a delightful European treat.
The comments above reflect some of the cultural attitudes displayed by a couple visitors to this post. That is: it’s up to parents to protect our kids, not business or government. How deep this sentiment runs through the overall population I do not know.
In the meantime, 13,000 Soldier Bear Brand Toy Sets were recalled for high levels of lead contamination, 1 million Easy-Bake Ovens were recalled for burns and finger injuries and 21,000 Sky Rangers Park Flyer Radio Control Airplanes were recalled for causing hearing loss and other injuries after they exploded during launch.
So be careful out there, parents, because it seems we’re on our own.