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Food Products and Pets

You may take rugbrød and other kinds of breads, cookies, cakes and bakery items into the United States.

  • You may take smoked salmon in a vacuum package. You may NOT take gravad laks
  • You may NOT take leverpostej, spege or rullepølse or any other types of meat or meat products
  • You may NOT take in fresh fruits or vegetables

Travelers are often surprised when they are told that their ‘one little piece of fruit or meat’ can cause serious damage. In fact, one item carelessly discarded can wreak havoc on American crops.

For example, it is quite likely that a traveler carried in the wormy fruit that brought Mediterranean fruit flies to California in 1979. The 3-year fight to eradicate this pest cost more than $100 million. Subsequent infestations in California and Florida have cost even more to eradicate.

A single link of sausage contaminated with the dreaded virus that causes foot-and-mouth disease could do similar damage to livestock business. Foot-and-mouth disease last struck the United States in 1929. Economists say that an outbreak today would cost farmers and consumers billions of dollars in lost production, higher food prices, and lost export markets.

Even when you believe that the item you are buying is safe, exercise caution and common sense. When you are thinking about buying agricultural souvenirs, remind yourself of the old saying, ‘let the buyer beware’. Duty Free shops do not have and special authorization, clearance, or certification with USDA allowing them to sell prohibited products. Even if signs and displays say ‘USDA Approved’, be skeptical. Always tell USDA or Customs Service inspectors everything you have that is an agricultural product.

Not sure if you can bring or send an item to the U.S.? Visit the U.S.Customs and Border Protection’s website and find out.

For further details on traveler information and customs restrictions, including motor vehicle import/export, check the U.S. Customs Website or contact

U.S. Customs Office
American Embassy in London
Tel: +(44) 207 499 9000 ext 2771 or ext 2772
Fax: (+44) 207 499 1212.

Alternatively, contact
Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS)
Tel: (+49) 30 8305 1157

Or for pets and plant advice

European APHIS office in Brussels:

Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Brussels
Tel: (+32-2) 508 2762
Fax: (+32-2) 511 0918
Website: www.aphis.usda.gov


We recommend that pets get a rabies vaccination prior to coming to the U.S., where rabies is prevalent. The vaccine must have been administered at least 30 days, but no longer than 12 months, before the animal arrives in the United States. At the same time, pick up a ‘sundhedsattest’ from your veterinarian. >> (read more)