Here’s what you need to know before bringing food products into the US.
Why are some foods not allowed?
Travelers bringing food products into the US can inadvertently introduce foreign pests and foodborne diseases into the country, which can have a devastating effect on agriculture and the environment. And an outbreak of pests or diseases can affect more than just farmers. It also means higher grocery bills and shortages of some food items for consumers.
“We work closely with the US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Health Inspection Services to prevent the introduction of foreign plant pests and animal diseases,” a CBP spokesperson told CNN.
What food products are not allowed to enter the country?
Most meat, poultry, dairy and egg products are either banned or restricted in the US — with regulations depending on the country of origin and animal diseases prevalent in the region.
What food products can you bring?
Can you bring fruit or vegetables?
The short answer is no.
And in all cases, travelers coming to the U.S. must retain original receipts and packaging to prove the food’s country of origin, according to CBP.
What happens if you bring prohibited items?
“A mishandled apple or snack will not always cause a significant incident,” the CBP spokesperson explained of an inadvertent failure to declare a food item. “However, attempting to bring prohibited items would lead to passenger delays and may result in a fine.”
“Failure to declare a prohibited food item may result in a civil penalty being issued,” the spokesperson added.