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UK Custom restrictions on meat & cheese import

I'm traveling from the USA to the UK in September. How stringent are the meat and cheese import restrictions? From the www.gov.UK site it sounds like all meat and dairy, fresh or processed is banned. Practically speaking, are goods such as dry soup or pasta mixes or sealed processed packaged meats allowed?

Posted by
8889 posts

BJ, where are you bringing these items from? If it is from an EU/EEA country, there is no restrictions.

Posted by
5547 posts

Believe it or not, dehydrated soup and pasta sauces are available in the UK, so no need to risk the wrath of UK customs officials by bringing banned products in. You can even by fresh soup and sauces which are far superior to the dried stuff!

There are similar restrictions as to what you can take back home with you.

Posted by
4663 posts

What is it you want to bring in and why?

I can't think of any reason why anyone would want to bring cheese to the UK from the US unless it's a can of Cheese Whizz, the cheese in the UK is far better than what is widely available in the US.

Posted by
11288 posts

If you can say exactly where you're going in the UK, and why you are thinking of bringing in food, people can tell you where to buy suitable items locally. There are supermarkets all over, and larger cities will have specialty stores.

If you're concerned about allergens, gluten, etc, be aware that the UK is very advanced in this area. Even basic supermarkets usually have a "Free From" section (nut free, gluten free, etc), and fancier supermarkets have lots of these products. The labeling for these concerns is very thorough too; for instance, a bag of spelt flour at a Waitrose (a fancier supermarket) specifically said, right on the front, "Not Suitable For Coeliacs."

Posted by
27720 posts

I can understand the concerns if you are used to lots of things in your food that you won't find in products in the UK.

We don't use bleached chicken.

The beef will not have hormones injected.

We don't use genetically modified corn or other products.

So if your body is used to those you may find the food in the UK has a different taste or nutrition.

By the way, most of our supermarket eggs are from free range chickens.