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What foods can I take into the US?

(57 Posts)
Itwillbefine Mon 12-Dec-16 15:32:55

We're off to visit my brother in Boston on sunday and am finding it difficult to get a list of what I can and can't take in.

Thinking chocolates ok? The request for pork pies only if I don't declare?

We're taking an Xbox as the boys present so that bag will be opened and I don't want to risk being fined or whatever they do.

Want to take some local sparkling wine, I was thinking biggest risk is breakage?

Any thoughts gratefully received.

RusholmeRuffian Mon 12-Dec-16 17:53:04

This site should be helpful

https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/know-before-you-go/prohibited-and-restricted-items

Chocolates are fine but pork pies are not. I can't imagine they'll throw you in jail if they catch you with them though wink. I've taken loads of food items before and been stopped at customs and bag searched. They asked loads of questions but never took anything off me.

SittingDrinkingTea Mon 12-Dec-16 18:00:03

We often take things out to DHs parents. You can't take fresh fruit and veg, meat products or fresh dairy products. Chocolate is fine, the pork pie not so much. They sometimes have food sniffing dogs at the airport and the US take customs and general airport security v v v seriously so I wouldn't risk trying to smuggle anything in or you may find yourself in big trouble.

Out2pasture Mon 12-Dec-16 18:00:05

Labelling is important, so sealed jams and jellies

WhatInTheWorldIsGoingOn Mon 12-Dec-16 18:10:07

When we flew to LA there was a 90 year old couple in front of us in the queue. The sniffer dog found a banana in their hand luggage and it was touch and go whether the old lady was going to get shot on the spot. Christ. It was honestly like she had a bomb strapped to her chest.

Itwillbefine Mon 12-Dec-16 18:27:48

I know when we went Australia for our honeymoon they're very strict about no food, not even the snacks they give you on the plane, unless it's changed now.

He's requested chicken oxo cubes, think I'll risk them...

Itwillbefine Mon 12-Dec-16 18:56:49

Thanks for the link, I wasn't getting anywhere on that site when I looked.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 12-Dec-16 20:15:46

The rules are generally no fruit, meat or dairy (though some cheeses are accepted). You could also be asked at immigration if you are carrying any food items.

Chocolate is ok, pork pies are definitely not. These will certainly be confiscated at customs. Do not bring stock cubes or wine either. Leave all that at home.

(If you plan to bring alcoholic beverages with you, before you depart, you should contact the state's applicable alcoholic beverage control board to determine what you need to do to comply with that state's laws and regulations).

Unfortunately the chicken OXO cubes are also off as these would come under bouillon products and these are inadmissible as well.

Not everyone is searched when going through customs (most people simply hand the officer the stamped customs form) but its a random process and people do get selected to be further screened.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 12-Dec-16 20:21:46

The rules are generally no fruit, meat or dairy (though some cheeses are accepted). You could also be asked at immigration if you are carrying any food items.

Chocolate is ok, pork pies are definitely not. These will certainly be confiscated at customs. Do not bring stock cubes or wine either. Leave all that at home.

(If you plan to bring alcoholic beverages with you, before you depart, you should contact the state's applicable alcoholic beverage control board to determine what you need to do to comply with that state's laws and regulations).

Unfortunately the chicken OXO cubes are also off as these would come under bouillon products and these are inadmissible as well.

Not everyone is searched when going through customs (most people simply hand the officer the stamped customs form) but its a random process and people do get selected to be further screened.]

There are quite a number of sites now that deliver British products to the US and other countries; britishfoodshop.com is but one of many examples.

Artandco Mon 12-Dec-16 20:22:28

Kinder eggs aren't allowed either. Deadly those things. Apparently incase people shove whole thing in gob and eat toy by mistake and die

BlueCowWonders Mon 12-Dec-16 20:22:33

I haven't been through a US airport where there wasn't a sniffer dog patrolling...
'Baked goods' e.g. mince pies for Chrismas are fine. Don't take any meat at all -the dog will find pork pies and that'll start a major search of all your luggage.
I found the airport in Boston to be one of the most unfriendly. I would t risk any banned products there.

acornsandnuts Mon 12-Dec-16 20:28:49

Pork pies..bad, kinder egg.. killer. But on a plus you can buy a gun in Walmart.

Pallisers Mon 12-Dec-16 20:33:02

Sniffer dogs will find the pork (my mum lost half a ham and pounds of sausages one year). They will just confiscate them. (I think the customs guys share them out and eat them themselves tbh.)

OP, tell your brother that if goes down to the Butcher Shop in Adams Village Dorchester and the Greenhills Bakery next door, he will find loads of Irish/UK food, including oxo stock cubes (or at least the last time I was there they had them).

An English woman whose dd is in school with mine told me Waitrose has an online ordering service in the US.

lovelyupnorth Tue 13-Dec-16 07:39:56

I take it you know the Xbox won't work with us games and vice Versa.

Wouldn't risk trying to sneak pork pies in realty not worth the hassle.

On a similar note what about tea bags - bil has asked us to bring some.

Artandco Tue 13-Dec-16 08:02:34

Yes I wouldn't take exlectronics like games consoles as they won't be compatible

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 13-Dec-16 09:22:30

Tea bags are generally admissible.

Itwillbefine Tue 13-Dec-16 18:33:37

The Xbox is a Minecraft bundle one, hoping to be able to get leads to make it work there, if not they'll have to wait till we come home to use it!

Did think about buying one there but that seemed even more complicated.

HermioneWeasley Tue 13-Dec-16 18:35:49

Don't risk not declaring - they have sniffer dogs at the airport and you'll be carted off if they find contraband. it was terrifying

Itwillbefine Tue 13-Dec-16 18:49:50

What did you not declare?

If I take the oxo cubes (which I have yet to buy) and I declare them they'll get taken off me anyway and may get a fine?

MrsderPunkt Tue 13-Dec-16 20:20:00

You have to declare any foodstuff, including the permitted ones. Don't take the oxo cubes, it's really not worth the possible hassle. You can buy everything everywhere now, so there really is no need.

FrancisCrawford Tue 13-Dec-16 20:28:13

You really don't want to get on the wrong side of US customs for the sake of a box of oxo cubes!

They have these rules for a purpose, not to be mean,

Memories of a dog sniffing some sort of contraband food stuffs at LAX and starting to bark. Next minute armed guys swarmed in for nowhere and surrounded the person. Mind you, this was two weeks after 9/11 and things were a bit tense.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Tue 13-Dec-16 20:42:22

Tea bags are fine.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Tue 13-Dec-16 20:43:01

Those US border control guys are terrifying.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 14-Dec-16 08:01:42

"The Xbox is a Minecraft bundle one, hoping to be able to get leads to make it work there, if not they'll have to wait till we come home to use it!"

I would leave it at home if you can, taking that out there could be more trouble than it is worth. You at the very least would have to go to BestBuy (this store is a bit like Currys/PC World) and they will not likely carry any adaptor leads to make a UK bought console work.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 14-Dec-16 08:03:30

"If I take the oxo cubes (which I have yet to buy) and I declare them they'll get taken off me anyway and may get a fine?"

No do not do this. A fine would be the very least of your problems, they could well bar you from visiting the US in future or put you through a lot of hoops to obtain a visa from the US embassy. Its so not worth it for a packet of oxo cubes.

Anyway your brother should be able to buy these online from his home in the US; there are plenty of sites offering British food to expats generally speaking.

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