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Getting cured meats from Italy to US

Customs agriculture is trained by the USDA, its not like we make up rules and just run with em'. Although I wish we could, my job would be 10 times more fun. Don't know why you lost your fish, was it in contact with any other meats? That's the only reason I can figure. Or was there larvae feeding on the fish? Eventhough they're not a concern it might have been taken for that reason.

Dec 28, 2006
upslims in Not About Food

Getting cured meats from Italy to US

What kind of cheese do you want to bring in? Milk is a different story but you can pretty much bring any cheese you want. The only exception is soft cheeses (brei/cottage cheese) but anything harder will be ok. And it doesn't need to be plastic wrapped. Hope this cleared things up.

Dec 23, 2006
upslims in Not About Food

Getting cured meats from Italy to US

Yeah, unfortunately you smuggled. You smuggled because you didn't declare it. Pretty much all meats are prohibited. The only meats that I know are allowed (from European countries) are parma hams. And those need to have a button seal on the packaging and paperwork accompanying it. We seize pork fat all the time (slanina) from Romania, Bulgaria etc... The vacuum packing does nothing and I'm surprised the dog didn't sniff you out.

Dec 23, 2006
upslims in Not About Food

Getting cured meats from Italy to US

Im sorry you've been having miserable experiences going through Customs. A lot of the officers are disgruntled and treat people horribly (depends on the day with me). Anyway, Im sure LAX is a very busy place, not sure where TBI is. Always check yes for food if you have any and just specify exactly what you have on the front or back. If you really want to get to agriculture declare meat (even if you dont have any) and that will get you to the inspection table. Then you can ask all the questions you want.

I wouldnt ask the passport control officer because they're fluent in immigration law and thats about it. Pretty much anykind of seafood is OK, like the man said in this post seahorses and live fish will give you problems.

Dec 21, 2006
upslims in Not About Food

Getting cured meats from Italy to US

Here is a quote from Zabalburu..

"I've been lucky enough to not be caught sneaking in ham and chorizo. Oftentimes there's only one beagle for about 10 carousels, so you can wait for him/her to go by before you take your suitcase down."

He is a smuggler.

There isn't some government conspiracy against the sausage industry of the world. The prohibition is not a "blanket" prohibition. The enterability of meat depends on the disease status of the countries of the world. Most countries have or had BSE (and yes the U.S. also) and FMD. So that plays a factor in its enterability. So does how it is labeled and how it is packed. Vacuum packing does nothing but seals in disease. You can basically only bring salami/sausage from Iceland, Greenland, Fiji, Guam, US Territories, Australia and New Zealand.

I agree that the risk of a herd of livestock contracting some disease from a sausage is extremely low. However it does pose a threat. The American agriculture is our only export that earns a profit, go ahead and see what happens if it hits the wall. And a prohibition on alcohol is uncomparable to a prohibition/restriction on meats.

And please, like TheMan said, stop accusing us of eating the meats we seize.

Dec 20, 2006
upslims in Not About Food

Getting cured meats from Italy to US

You're not a smuggler Sherry, the only mistake you made was accusing the K9 handler of feeding the prosciutto to the dog. That doesn't happen. You're Customs form asks if you're bringing and meats/animal products. Did you check yes or no? Because if you checked "no" for meats, then you attempted to smuggle and got caught by the dog.

Dec 19, 2006
upslims in Not About Food

Getting cured meats from Italy to US

You all sound like a bunch of smugglers to me. I work for Customs as an agriculture inspector. The fines just went up to $300 for FTD. Also, all your checked luggage must get picked up so good luck with that. Meats not allowed for a reason. If you have any agriculture releated questions feel free to ask.

Dec 19, 2006
upslims in Not About Food