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Food in checked luggage?

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Dec 21st, 2003, 08:24 AM
  #1
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Food in checked luggage?

Is there any reason that I shouldn't take food(special treats for family) in checked luggage? Other than the obvious problem of squashing. We are not taking meat or perishables. We are travelling to France and England. We realize that there are wonderful goodies in both countries, but want to have a few familiars as well.
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Dec 21st, 2003, 09:05 AM
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Carry on or checked in is the same as concerns the right to bring in the food. Whether or not you bring in a banned substance is up to you. Bringing back a pâté or sausage to the States is not unheard of, but also not legal.
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Dec 21st, 2003, 09:37 AM
  #4
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I guess we're okay as long as I read the banned list correctly. We're just taking the childrens favorite cookies and christmas candy. Also some to give to friends once there.

Last trip we brought Back wonderful orange bisquits from London. Can't find them here....will have to bring some back again.

Also, I've read on this board about taking over maple syrup as a hostess gift. Do you think that would an appropriate gift?

Thanks
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Dec 21st, 2003, 10:00 AM
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Maple syrup is available in the groceries, mostly imported from Canada I think. Seems like it would still make a nice gift if there was something distinctive about it...like if it was made and packaged in your hometown.

Transporting chocolates can be iffy. I've mostly had good luck but last year lost a box of very pricey confections to heat. I don't know where the luggage was but there nothing but a greasy box of goop when we got home!
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Dec 21st, 2003, 01:38 PM
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I hope that you realize that certain foods like peanut butter, chocolate, fudge, preserves, etc... have density and radiolucency similar to that of plastic explosives on X-ray scans such as those used to screen luggage at airports.


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Dec 21st, 2003, 01:59 PM
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I bring chocolate, fruit preserves, cookies, olive and truffle oil, and coffee beans home with me every time I visit Italy or France. Enjoy your goodies.
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Dec 21st, 2003, 02:21 PM
  #8
 
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From the Transportation Security Agency (TSA) website (www.tsa.gov) - Travelers and Consumers - Air Travel - Prepare for Takeoff - Pack Smart - Checked Luggage:

"Avoid packing food and drink items in checked luggage"

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Dec 21st, 2003, 02:26 PM
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And of course one always obeys the speed limit!!
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Dec 21st, 2003, 03:31 PM
  #10
dln
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I've been traveling for more than 20 years to Europe and I always come home with food of the type you're thinking about, Timekeeper. There are lots of cookies and candies in Europe that aren't readily available here (and in your case, US foods that cost next to nothing here and a fortune over there, if you can find them at all!). I can't possibly carry all the goodies that I buy by hand, so into my case they go. I've never had any trouble. Of course common sense would dictate that you wouldn't bring anything meltable to a warm climate, but that doesn't apply to you going to France and England. Unless you're asking this question months in advance, for summer travel??
 
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Dec 21st, 2003, 03:33 PM
  #11
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Radiolucency? That's a scary word. Guess I'll just eat the kiddies goodies now, and not worry.lol Saves space in the bags too.Nah, I'll put it in the carry on. Thanks.
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Dec 21st, 2003, 05:08 PM
  #12
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dln, we are leaving in a week. Thank you for the information.
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Dec 22nd, 2003, 05:09 AM
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From tsa.gov: "Adm. Loy asked passengers to not pack food or beverages -- which tend to set  off alarms -- in checked bags. To make searches easier don?t over pack and  put footwear on top of other contents. Place personal belongings in clear  plastic bags to reduce chances of a TSA screener having to handle them. Don?t  stack books in luggage. Instead spread them out."

The tsa "suggestions" have nothing to do with items permitted into the USA via FDA/Customs. To put it simply, the tsa agents would prefer not to handle food items or be bogged down checking many bags of innocent passengers. If you intend to pack many goodies in your luggage, I suggest you tape a color-laser image of your I.D. card (driver's license/passport) on the contents of your bag, clearly visible to agents when they open your bag. This could help prevent them from disrupting carefully packed luggage. Also, inform the check-in agents that you have goodies in your bag (unless you've packed too many wine bottles, which is not permitted).

From http://www.customs.ustreas.gov/xp/cg...restricted.xml :

"You may bring bakery items and certain cheeses into the United States."

This website will help anyone with questions about what goodies CAN be packed to bring home.
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Dec 22nd, 2003, 06:17 AM
  #14
 
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From an inside source....here is how it works if you get "chosen" to have your bags opened by Customs upon entering the U.S.....They will ask you before they open if you have anything in there they will find to be illegal to bring; food, etc.. If you admit it they will simply confiscate the items. If you say no, they will ask again. This time if you lie and the open it and find the item you are in trouble.
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Dec 22nd, 2003, 07:33 AM
  #15
 
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I've been traveling internationally for years and I've never had a problem transporting food items into or out of the US, in carry-on or checked luggage. I always claim what I have and I'm waved right through.

Exception: Traveling to Australia and NZ - they're very strict, and for good reason. The same applies for travel to and from Hawaii.

I have a friend from England who once tried to take haggis through the airport, but changed her mind when she saw a notice prohibiting the transport of meat products - this was during the foot and mouth outbreak. She ended up giving the haggis to the check in agent (poor thing).

Being a chocoholic, chocolate is a regular item in my luggage and it's "density and radiolucency" has never been an issue. I also routinely pack coffee beans.

Take your treats Timekeeper and enjoy your holiday.
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