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Taking Food on International Travel

If you're on a low carb diet, it's likely that you are taking your food along with you on trips. Be sure you follow the rules when international flights are involved, though.

This FAQ is found on the US Customs Website and addresses how food is handled on trips between countries.

Q: Why Did U.S. Customs Take My Food?
A: Because Customs inspectors are stationed at ports of entry and along our land and sea borders, they are often called upon to enforce laws and requirements of other Government agencies. This is done to protect community health, preserve domestic plant and animal life, etc.

Most fruits and vegetables are either prohibited from entering the United States or require an import permit. Every fruit or vegetable must be declared to the Customs officer and must be presented for inspection, no matter how free of pests it appears to be. Failure to declare all food products can result in civil penalties. Meats, livestock, poultry, and their by-products are either prohibited or restricted from entering the United States, depending on the animal disease condition in the country of origin. Fresh meat is generally prohibited from most countries. Canned, cured, or dried meat is severely restricted from most countries. Bakery items and all cured cheeses are generally admissible. You should contact the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal Plant Health Inspection Services for more detailed information.

So if you are bringing a snack for your plane flight, bring enough to get you through the flight, but dump out any leftovers that are meat, fruit or vegetable before you hit customs. Note that eggs are included in the List on the USDA Site. No need to add extra stress into your day!

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