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Someone I was traveling with bought meat at an airport store in Spain. When we got to Miami, customs took it away from her. I realize bringing meat to the United States is prohibited; however, it seems like if it was bought at an airport store and not opened, it should be OK. Do you have any opinion on this?

Also, when we fill out the customs declaration, it asks if we are bringing food. I always check yes, even if it is just a box of cookies for the office since, I figure if I check 'no', it could be considered lying. Is this the correct thing to do? Just checking.

Thank you for your assistance.

Dear Liz,

The regulations governing meat and meat products are stringent. You may not import fresh, dried or canned meats or meat products from most foreign countries into the United States. Also, you may not import food products that have been prepared with meat.

The regulations on importing meat and meat products change frequently because they are based on disease outbreaks in different areas of the world. Animal and Plant Health Inspection Services - APHIS , which regulates meats and meat products as well as fruits and vegetables, has all the information regarding it at

Normally when you check yes a secondary inspection takes place.

My best Regards,


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Roberto Gomes


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