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Can I Legally Bring Cheese back from Italy

Can I Legally Bring Cheese back from Italy

Aug 3rd, 2005, 03:03 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Yikes mebe, I don't think a salami is worth going to jail over, not to mention being in their computer now. Hopefully your smuggling days are over.
Barb is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2005, 03:21 PM
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We brought back hard cheeses in checked luggage with no problems. They did take away my heather on one trip because it had a few roots I neglected to cut away.
Mrs_Slocum is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2005, 03:36 PM
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I have declared cheese and wine and chocolate and have always been waved through. Once though we were randomly picked for the machine that does agricultural inspections. I bet none of you even knew there is such a machine; we didn't either. One of our basg set off the machine, so the inspectors started to unpack it. the problem was the remains of a roll of toilet paper (I always take a couple half rolls). They told me the machines are sensitive to organic materials and toilet paper qualifies as that.
julies is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2005, 03:38 PM
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We spent a few days in Germany over Valentine's Day this past February (2005) and we totally forgot we had 2 apples our last hotel had given us on our way out the door to catch our plane. We marked "no" to any food items, thinking we had none, but the little cute beagle cued right in on us. The lady took away the fruit and wrote on our customs form. She said we could have been fined because we had marked that we had no food items. I guess she let us off because she could see how surprised we were and it was rather obvious we had forgotten.
TexasAggie is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2005, 03:43 PM
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Nothing to declare. Testing my name as a new poster.
mimosa is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2005, 03:49 PM
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I bring back cheese from the Netherlands, but I buy it at the airport there, and declare it on my customs sheet. You must declare food, even if you have less than the allowed $ limit for items brought in. I got busted once for bringing in loose tea that my friend in Europe bagged for me. I forgot I even had it, and my bags were searched. The agent singled it out, and I panicked, because it really looked like marijuana, but I told him it was tea. He sniffed it & just kept searching my bag. He also gave the tea back to me!
amp322 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 07:01 AM
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No, salami is not worth jail time.(I was more bummed about losing my blue tulips.) Yes, my smuggling days are over mostly because I am obviously not very good at it. I couldn't explain why I didn't "remember" having tulips but I did remember to list all the other knick-knacks I bought, such as my wooden shoe magnets.
mebe is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 07:11 AM
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You could dress the cheese up like a baby and carry it onboard like Lucy did when Ricky refused to pay the extra baggage fees for her 25 pound cheese.
vivi is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 07:28 AM
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You can bring back cheese any way you want. You can't bring back meats of any kind UNLESS they are tinned. There is NO problem declaring it to the DofA--they ask--you should tell. If you are caught there is a $500 fine. Even at the time of the hoof and mouth outbreak when there was a lot of scrutiny about food products, these were allowed. Why be so proud of smuggling salami.
Gretchen is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 08:02 AM
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I never have any problems bringing cheese back into the US from Europe, and I do it after almost every trip. I also bring back chocolates and other food items without any problems. Like P_M, I am always waived through when I'm asked what kind of food I'm brining in (I always check the "yes" box on my form).

Unless you are trying to bring fruits, veggies or meats into the U.S., you shouldn't encounter any problems.

tcreath is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 08:25 AM
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Hi all,

Here are the rules from the US site:

Food Products

Bakery items and all cured cheeses are admissible. The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) publishes a pamphlet called Travelers Tips, which offers detailed information on bringing food, plant, and animal products into this country. Imported foods are also subject to requirements of the Food and Drug Administration.

Fruits, Vegetables, Plants

Many fruits, vegetables, plants, cuttings, seeds, unprocessed plant products, and certain endangered plant species are either prohibited from entering the country or require an import permit. Endangered or threatened species of plants and plant products, if not prohibited from importation, will require an export permit from the country of origin. Every single plant, plant product, 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. Most canned or processed items are admissible.

Applications for import permits or requests for information may be addressed to: Permit Unit, USDA-APHIS-PPQ, 4700 River Rd., Unit 136, Riverdale, MD 20737-1236, USA.

Meats, Livestock, Poultry

Meats, livestock, poultry and their by-products (e.g., sausage, pât&eacute are either prohibited or restricted from entering the United States, depending upon the animal disease condition in the country of origin. Fresh meat is generally prohibited from most countries. Canned meat is permitted if the inspector can determine that it is commercially canned, cooked in the container, hermetically sealed, and can be kept without refrigeration. Other canned, cured, or dried meat is severely restricted.

ira is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 09:41 AM
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I am surprised about the tulips because I saw our flight attendents a couple years ago with beautiful tulips and I had understood that only bulbs were allowed back in. They told me that they would have to have them looked over for bugs and then they could take them in the US. It sounds to me like our customs bend with whatever airport or official you run into. I took students to Greece two years ago and coming through Denver was pulled for coffee, spices, lives and olive oil! Everything will wrapped and canned. I'd take a chance with the cheeses personally~not meat.
wondering is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 09:45 AM
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Be careful your cheese doesn't have meat in it. On my first trip to Europe, I shipped back a box of gifts for my family. I was really excited about a cheese I bought in the Netherlands and didn't realize it had cured meat in it (and didn't require refrigeration). When my box arrived in the US, all the gifts were in my box...minus the cheese. In place of the cheese was a note that said "Your cheese has been destroyed." My mom got great gifts from my trip, and all my dad got was that lousy letter.
beanweb24 is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 09:56 AM
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Thanks Ira. I wonder about all those cute little "jars" of things you can buy, ie, pesto, tapenade, sauces, etc. Technically, they are not "canned" as in tins.
Barb is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 09:58 AM
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Hmmm. We brought back a cute little jar of a chili spread and another little jar of pesto. You're right - they were not canned. We had no problems though
TexasAggie is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 10:48 AM
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"Canned" means preserved, for pete's sake. Yes, you can bring back mustards, tapenades, pesto, etc.
Gretchen is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 10:50 AM
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I could not bear to leave those logs of Italian salami from Volpetti's behind. I just said a prayer at the Vatican before I left to deliver me and my salamis safely home and it was answered.
OpusX is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 11:19 AM
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OpusX, I know just what you mean, but I just ate mine before I left. oink oink Isn't Volpetti just THE best place. I bought so much cheese there and they even wrapped it like a present with a bow on top.
Barb is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 11:38 AM
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I know what you mean Barb. We spent 1 and 1/2 hours with the owner once we walked in. To hime we were the only customers and not once did he take his attention away from us. He was giving us samples of EVERYTHING to try including 50 year old aceto balsamico, about 10 different kinds of olives, countless cheeses, meats, breads, olive oil, and dessert wines. They have a balsamic paste that is simply outstanding. I didn't have to eat lunch after I left Volpetti's. I spent about 185E there and was determined to get everything home.

Definitely a standout highlight on my entire 2 weeks journey through Italy. Trip report to come!
OpusX is offline  
Aug 4th, 2005, 11:57 AM
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I didn't know you couldn't bring back meats bought from a store?

From our last trip to Italy we brought back Salami, pecorino, olive oil, and wine. All of the products were sealed/unopened. We declared it all - I am very honest. We were asked by a customs agent if we had been to a farm or gotten the products from a farm - we had not - and that was it. ???

They sure were yummy!
Mamma_Love is offline  

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