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Apr 30, 2013 01:28 PM

Which foods can be brought from Canada into the US?

I'm totally confused!
I do bring leftovers after dining out in Windsor with no problem & have brought back canned & baked goods etc. I know produce is not allowed,
Can smoked meat be brought back to the US?

The CBP webpage is not totally clear.

"Food products from Canada, including fresh (frozen or chilled), cooked, canned or otherwise processed products containing beef, veal, bison, and cervid are now permitted from Canada in passenger baggage. Products containing sheep, lamb, or goat will not be allowed entry.

The passenger must provide proof of the origin ...

Will I need to put it in a suitcase?(baggage)?


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  1. Looks like good news. We used to buy Scottish meat pies that were pre-cooked and in the frozen section. After having to throw out $40 worth at one particular border crossing, I never took the chance again. I was convinced the Immigration guy just took it home to eat it anyway.
    For some reason, left over Chinese was never a problem. Go figure!

    3 Replies
    1. re: grouper

      that's exactly correct grouper, leftover food is not a problem but one is never certain about anything else.

      I was wondering if anyone had recent experience w/ border crossing & food?

      perhaps the best thing to to look at the APHIS website before traveling to see what is currently allowed.

      1. re: Michigan Mishuganer

        and maybe print up the pages in reference to take along in case there are problems!

        1. re: Michigan Mishuganer

          Um, I'd recommend not challenging the border agent with any facts. Seriously. You will bring a raft of shit down on yourself. They have absolute authority and can detain you on whim, regardless of citizenship.

          Speaking as a person who spent nearly three years going back and forth over the border multiple times a week, what the US agents will allow in depends on their personality, mood, and how they feel about you. Most don't care and won't ask detailed questions. On the other hand, I have had to surrender leftovers and, last summer, about 30lbs of perfect homegrown tomatoes.

          Technically, the onus is on you to prove that the stuff you're bringing in to the US is a product of Canada. This is not easy to do. The reality is, avoid any produce that is out of season, or, like bananas, simply doesn't grow in Canada. Don't try to bring anything in that is on the current proscribed list, but don't count on the border agent being up to date. Or knowing what swiss chard is. :) Don't try to import anything you would be heartbroken to lose. Have your receipts ready.

          I have never had any problem bringing food of any kind into Canada, even hundreds of dollars' worth at a time, but I recently heard from my in-laws that they are starting to crack down on dairy and egg importation.

    2. You also need to consider the USDA rules. CBP sometimes
      enforces those. Sometimes, the two groups rules are a bit

      Last year; CBP said sweet corn in the husk was okay.
      USDA said, Not.

      1. I've brought back restaurant leftovers from Windsor several times without any problems.

        But several years ago, after a week in a cottage, I was pulled over for a US agricultural inspection at Port Huron because a fresh apple was visible in the car -- it was confiscated. They got so excited about it that they didn't inspect anything but my cooler where they found baby carrots labeled from California and an orange labeled from Florida (both of which I was allowed to keep) along with some bottles of pop. I could have had illegal immigrants or cases of alcohol in my trunk for all they knew!

        Since then, I've declared nothing, but all I bring back to the US is the left overs from a box of my favorite President's Choice cereal and a few bottles of fruit jams and preserves bought in midwestern Ontario.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Michigander

          Canadians know how to do sweets and junk food. And butter.

          1. re: missmind

            mmmm...Peak Frean cookies...and Liberte yogurt

            1. re: coney with everything

              Do you mean the same Liberte yogurt they sell at Kroger here?

              1. re: ak994

                It's the same brand, but it doesn't taste the same.

                1. re: missmind

                  yup, Liberte in the US got reformulated by its new overlords, Yoplait. Nuff said

        2. thanks everyone for the input!
          If the Costco in WIndsor has smoked meat I may try to bring some back next visit & will report on outcome.
          (unless I'm sent to Guantanimo & never heard from again!)

          5 Replies
          1. re: Michigan Mishuganer

            They do, and it's better than anything I've had in Windsor from a restaurant, sadly. They also have smoked meat sandwiches at the food court, and decent poutine, because Canadians always want fries with that.

            1. re: Michigan Mishuganer

              They have a Costco in Windsor now? Might have to hit that up. There are a few Scottish items that if they were sold in bulk would be worth the drive for me. I used to get them at Zehr's but they stopped selling.

              1. re: grouper

                4411 Walker Road
                Windsor, ON N8W 3T6
                (519) 972-1899

                1. re: Michigan Mishuganer

                  Thank you MM! I'm make note of both places.

                2. re: grouper

                  I think you'd have more luck for Scottish food at a Bulk Barn, of all places.


              2. Interesting post & thread. I had these worries while I was in Toronto's St. Lawrence Hall. It was my last hour before the Via back to Windsor. Could I bring back the cheeses? The sausages?
                I played it safe & brought back (Montreal) bagels & amazing Kozlik's mustard . . .