“The same goes for any of the food that is picked up on the aircraft. since those aircraft have the food loaded up at the point of origin that food is just as prohibited as any of these items,” Mashburn said.
U.S. Customs Border and Protection Detector Dog Chevee, receives a treat from his handler U.S. Customs Border and Protection agricultural specialist R. Adam after intercepting a bag of powdered beef at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, Wednesday. ALYSSA POINTER/ALYSSA.POINTER@AJC.COM
U.S. Customs and Border Protection Atlanta port director Carey Davis said “even an apple…. It could have Mediterranean fruit fly in it, it could have a multitude of pests that could cost agriculture of the U.S. billions of dollars over time.”
Travelers must also declare plants, seeds, soil and animals, Customs says. And even animal products like soup or soup products should be declared, the agency says. Many fresh and dried meats and some canned meats and meat byproducts like beef broth are prohibited. Travelers should check U.S. Customs' website for information on prohibited items, the agency says.
Last fall, Customs in Atlanta stopped requiring the written declaration form from most passengers, as part of a move to a more paperless process. Instead, Customs officers ask passengers if they have any of the items that must be declared.
“We give you multiple opportunities to tell us. If you simply tell us, and it’s prohibited, we’ll take it, but no harm, no foul,” Davis said. “If you hide it and lie about it continually, we’re going to issue you a penalty.”
Some of the items prohibited or restricted by U.S. Customs and Border Protection:
Certain types of absinthe
Alcoholic beverages - Duties apply above 1 liter
Fish and wildlife, parts such as skin, tusks, bone, feathers or eggs, or products made from them
Meat and meat products such as bouillon and soup mixes
Plants and seeds
Medication, particularly potentially-addictive medicines
Source: U.S. Customs and Border Protection. More details here: https://www.cbp.gov/travel/us-citizens/know-before-you-go/prohibited-and-restricted-items