Go Back  Fodor's Travel Talk Forums > Destinations > Europe
Reload this Page >

What foods are allowed to bring into the UK from the US?

What foods are allowed to bring into the UK from the US?

Old Oct 15th, 2012, 08:22 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
What foods are allowed to bring into the UK from the US?

I am trying to get a good answer as to what foods are allowed into the UK when traveling from the US. I have done several searches online and have looked at the Defra booklets. I also tried calling Defra and when transferred to another person perhaps in a different division(?), the connection was so poor, I couldn't hear what the person was saying - frustrating! I have also emailed them, however, they have a potential 15 day turnaround and I am traveling in less than a week.

Yes, I know there is plenty of food in London! My son is studying there for the semester and he and others have requested a few things like Kraft Mac and Cheese, Creamy Chicken Ramen noodles, Lipton Cup of Soup, hot chocolate packets (unfortunately, my son's home stay will not allow use of the stove/oven and so they are restricted to using the microwave for any cooking they wish to do--certainly makes things more challenging and more expensive.) All of these seem to me that there should be no issue, however, each does have something on the ingredient list that could fall into the restricted zone as outlined by the Defra booklet.

Does anyone have any information regarding this? Or, a good contact number in the UK? Or, is the best suggestion to not worry about it, since none of it is fresh food, pack it and go through the green customs line?

Thank you!
MNMaui is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 08:34 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,210
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Packaged foods such as those you describe above should not be a problem. But you need to ask UK customs NOT Delta Airlines. They would not be able to give you a reliable answer. The biggest problem foods are generally fresh produce or meat products, but there could be UK-specific restrictions.

Here is a link to the UK Customs web site. But you really have to do your own research. http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/cu...ravel/customs/
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 08:45 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,629
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Haven't they discovered Pot Noodle (I think that's the brand)? Staple of many UK student diets. Lots of microwavable soups available as well.

Decent to very good fresh, ready-made meals and salads are avaiable as well although I appreciate some may be outside their budget.

Maybe you would do them a bigger favor by taking them grocery shopping.

That said, I really, really miss Orville Redenbacker microwave popcorn, haven't found it in France or on trips to the UK.
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 09:08 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 20,896
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
my goodness the horror. Customs are the guys and I doubt that these things (even if they are labelled as food) will be a problem.

In support of Cath take them out and buy them some fruit.
bilboburgler is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 09:21 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 68,457
Likes: 0
Received 50 Likes on 7 Posts
Doug -the OP meant DEFRA, not Delta. That is like the Dept of Ag in the USA.

NMMaui: All of those are fine. Plus peanut butter etc. Don't bring any fresh food or meat products and you'll be fine. But I agree, most of those things are available in the UK.
janisj is online now  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 09:25 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 20,896
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Defra is famous in the UK civil service as taking the people who failed in the rest of the service and I've spent 2 years working with them recently and it can be very slow, so customs are the people you need to talk to. Janisj has it right.
bilboburgler is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 09:36 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 10,317
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I can understand missing essentials like mac and cheese from home

Part of the adventure can be finding these things in the UK as well. Pot Noodle is the obvious one, just add hot water to get your soup. There are also tonnes of places to get hot chocolate so I wouldnt think there is a need to bring that stuff. Peanut butter and cinnamon gum are my guilty pleasures from Canada
jamikins is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 09:40 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,210
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Sorry ... I misunderstood. In any case, the list of things that can and can't be taken in is pretty straightforward. It's fresh dairy and meat that are the main concern, not powdered milk ingredients.
doug_stallings is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 09:42 AM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 55,403
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
i can assure you that if they venture into a decent supermarket, they will find more than enough tasteless processed cheese, peanut butter and pot noodles to last them a [student] lifetime.

never seen cinnamon gum though.

cinnamon gum?
annhig is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 10:10 AM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Posts: 39,409
Likes: 0
Received 3 Likes on 3 Posts
I have to say that any parent who acts like some beast of burden for some college kid too lazy top go out and try new things BESIDES the sex is questionable or at best an enabler.
Dukey1 is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 10:20 AM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 15,736
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Batchelor's Cupasoup is identical in every wayto Lipton's, except for the name on the packet. They are made by the smae company - Unilever.
Pot noodles, the student staple are widely available in supermarkets in the UK in a wide variety of flavours.
Microwavable hot chocolate is also available, as is a wide range of brands of peanut butter.
Your son needs to get to his local Tescos and open his eyes. He'll probably even find Kraft Mac and cheese if he looks, though that one is more doubtful.

He will even find a wide range of tasty fresh complete meals for in the microwave, should he feel the need for some vitamins.

Cinnamon gum is a peculiarly North American thing however.

I would not fill a suitcase with foodstuffs he can find easily enough in Britain.
hetismij2 is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 10:24 AM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 55,403
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
He'll probably even find Kraft Mac and cheese if he looks, though that one is more doubtful.>>

not sure about the Mac, [what is that?] but definitely the kraft processed cheese is there on the shelves.
annhig is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 10:25 AM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,373
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
According to the wonderful world of wikipedia Kraft Mac and Cheese is sold as Cheesey Pasta in the UK and available at Tesco and other high class purveyors of processed foods.

As for the others try websites such as

http://www.americansoda.co.uk/uk/Ame...e/default.aspx

if they miss home comforts - though it sounds like you're getting together some Red Cross food parcels!
sofarsogood is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 10:27 AM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,629
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
macaroni noodles and cheese
Cathinjoetown is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 10:27 AM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Thank you for your quick replies. He has ventured into many supermarkets thus far and I think it gets overwhelming when nothing looks the same. He is certainly easily able to get fresh fruit and bread, etc. and would prefer to make himself a good meal - as I mentioned, a bit more challenging when you can't use the oven or stove. It is those easy things from home that would be appreciated at this point that can be made in a hurry. I agree, not exactly the things I would miss...tasteless as they may be to many of us.

Yes, I meant Defra, not Delta! This is from the Defra pamphlet: Meat products include any fresh, cooked or dried meat such as beef, lamb, pork or chicken and such products as patties, curries, ham, biltong, pot noodles which contain meat, meatballs, meat pickles, cured or cooked sausage, pate and meat paste. dairy products include fresh, dried or concentrated milk, cream, butter, ghee, mithai, cheese and products containing fresh cream.

It is the dried part that got me - dried meat, dried or concentrated milk - although cheese just says cheese with no qualifiers. Does dried not mean powdered?

I will mention Pot Noodle to him as a brand to look for the next time he grocery shops - thanks! I have mentioned Marks and Spencer to him many times as a place I have heard has lots of ready made easy to microwave type meals. I imagine that would get expensive though. Sandwiches are easy, it is the hot meals that are more difficult. I love to go to grocery stores when traveling to check things out, so hopefully we will have a chance to check it out together.
MNMaui is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 10:39 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Posts: 5,142
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Here's an article with a picture of Cheesy Pasta by Kraft so you'll know what to look out for in the UK.

http://healthychild.org/blog/comment...ese_smackdown/

Yes, the UK version is healthier

Do take your son shopping at his local supermarket. I'm sure he'll discover there's everything he needs right there.
Students often buy ready meals (fresh food from supermarkets like Waitrose or Sainsburys and M&S) that are reduced for quick sale.
Often meals are discounted around 4pm by as much as 50%.
sassy_cat is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 11:20 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 15,736
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well that list means no Chicken Ramen noodles, no Mac and Cheese, no cup of soups which contain any meat or meat product. So your suitcase is safe.
As Sassy_cat says students look for the discounted food at the end of the day - they have a coloured sticker on them usually. The colour depends on the supermarket.
My son would get himself a roast chicken, and baking potatoes and salad or microwavable veg. Would do him a couple of days for not a lot of money.

Other good sources for good cheap hot food are Ikea restaurants, and the in house cafes at supermarkets. Some pubs offer two for a tenner meals if one of his mates wants to eat with him.
hetismij2 is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 11:21 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Posts: 15,736
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Well that list means no Chicken Ramen noodles, no Mac and Cheese, no cup of soups which contain any meat or meat product. So your suitcase is safe.
As Sassy_cat says students look for the discounted food at the end of the day - they have a coloured sticker on them usually. The colour depends on the supermarket.
My son would get himself a roast chicken, and baking potatoes and salad or microwavable veg. Would do him a couple of days for not a lot of money.

Other good sources for good cheap hot food are Ikea restaurants, and the in house cafes at supermarkets. Some pubs offer two for a tenner meals if one of his mates wants to eat with him.
hetismij2 is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 02:36 PM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 55,403
Received 5 Likes on 3 Posts
According to the wonderful world of wikipedia Kraft Mac and Cheese is sold as Cheesey Pasta in the UK and available at Tesco and other high class purveyors of processed foods.>>

I think that you can get that sort of thing in a pouch - very useful for microwave users.

re what hetismij says, you can get cheap cooked chickens from Tesco, also most supermarkets have a 'reduced" shelf. Their "value" or everyday ranges are also useful and cheap.
annhig is offline  
Old Oct 15th, 2012, 02:52 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 8,364
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I think, in general, people do eat healthier in the UK. As you have seen above, most things we are used to finding in US supermarkets are available in the UK under a different name or in a slightly different form. It was years before I realised that Tylenol (acetaminophen) is the same as paracetamol in the UK.
Heimdall is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 10:28 PM.