Banned Foods In The U.S. (and What To Bring Back Instead) (PHOTOS)

by The Daily Meal Subscribe to The Daily Meal's posts Posted Jul 8th 2011 07:00 AM


Bringing a taste of travels home is a noble pursuit. Leaving behind the sumptuous cheeses in France or the wine in Italy can be heart-wrenching to say the least. So what can you try to bring back stateside? What does the U.S. allow its citizens to enjoy post-vacation and what should they leave behind?

The Daily Meal has put together a list (culled from the FDA and Customs and Border Patrol's official lists) of what they can't take away from people, what just depends on the customs agent, and what people can be fined for - because there is nothing worse than having a treasured food souvenirs get unceremoniously dumped in some undeserving airport trashcan.

The restrictions and rules are filled with minute details and small print. The regulations on what types of cheese can and cannot be brought back are manifold, as are those for nuts, fish, eggs, and meats. One rule that trumps them all, though, is that every food item carried back into the United States must be declared (or face a fine of up to $10,000).

Think just shipping it home is a loophole in the system? Au contraire. Items like gift baskets (which are heavily regulated) sent from any other country are subject to Bioterrorism Act requirements and as a result, many food vendors abroad will no longer ship baskets or gifts containing food stuffs back to the U.S.

Whether there's a cherished local delicacy, you hoped to bring back a favorite edible souvenir, or can't let go - make sure to check this list before stuffing it deep within your suitcase. Digging things out while in line at customs is a terrible way to return home!

Filed Under: Food + Drink