Looks like Chinese folks spending the Dragon Boat Festival overseas are going to have a pretty crappy holiday. 22 countries have banned the traditional Dragon Boat dumplings (zongzi) over fears that along with delicious glutinous rice and other fillings, they may be carrying bird flu and Hoof and Mouth disease. Business Standard reports:
According to Beijing Entry-Exit Inspection and Quarantine Bureau, since some meat-filled Zongzi, also known as rice dumplings, have the risk of carrying viruses like bird flu and foot-and-mouth disease, 23 countries and regions including Germany and France have banned any kind of Zongzi.
However, the regulations vary in different countries and regions. Singapore is open to Zongzi coming from Chinese mainland, but not from Hong kong. Six countries, including Australia and the UK, have banned the entry of Zongzi that has meat stuffing and egg yolk content.
Zongzi is a traditional Chinese food served during the Duanwu Festival, or Dragon Boat Festival, which falls on the fifth day of the fifth month of the Chinese lunar calendar each year.