NEW YORK - Consumer Reports has discovered hazardous and illegal chocolate Easter eggs on shelves in food shops in suburban New York and the Washington, D.C. area. Kinder Surprise Eggs are hollow chocolate eggs that contain surprise toys. They are made by Italy's Ferrero Group. The eggs are popular worldwide, but they have been banned in the United States by the Consumer Product Safety Commission since 1997 because they could pose a choking hazard to children less than three years of age.
The Ferrero Groups' U.S. arm has fully honored the ban. However, the eggs still manage to make their way into the U.S. stream of commerce and are occasionally available from gourmet food stores, candy merchants, and ethnic importers. Many of the eggs are imported by companies specializing in foods from countries where the product is available legally. The eggs are also available on the Internet. Until recently, even Amazon.com offered Surprise Eggs sold by a Greek importer through its Marketplace program.
If you really want to surprise your kids this Easter, you can consider getting them candy and toys separately. Mixing the two, especially when the toy is embedded inside the candy as it is with the Surprise Egg, sends a mixed message about what is and isn't edible, and puts younger children at risk.