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Foie Gras-OK ?

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As it has been 6-7 years since the US customs worker, The Man, answered many questions regarding legalities of bringing in various food items to the USA on this site, thought would approach the subject again.

l know that all cheeses, wines, are fine to bring in for personal use.
All alcohols over 70% are not fine
All meats, vegetables, and fruit are not allowed
Honey in the comb is not allowed, but normal honey is fine.

My question is whether mi-cuit foie gras in the jars is ok or not ?

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  1. In May, I was asked "is it in cans?" I'm not sure what that means. i.e., if I had said, "No, it is commercially processed in glass" if I would have been able to keep it.

    Our luggage and all hand carry-ons were sent through the xray machine in all events.

    Above at SFO.

    3 Replies
    1. re: mangeur

      So you had your foie gras confiscated? And it was mi-cuit, canned?

      1. re: DeppityDawg

        No, we had no problem keeping it. It was in tin cans.

        I don't think that mi-cuit comes in cans. Does it?

        1. re: mangeur

          It does, sometimes. I see what you were saying in your message now. I've never had a problem with foie gras in cans or in glass, either (fully cooked, not requiring refrigeration).

    2. No idea; my San Diego lawyer friend declares it as apetizer spread.

      1. Probably depends on the state.
        We don't get canned stuff. Only foie gras in glass jars. And we always declare, and the magic words are: Yes, officer, it's commercial-packed.
        I don't even know what it means.

        1. My question would be whether mi-cuit is shelf-stable which is another question I remember being asked. If it needs refrigeration, I believe it is not legal to bring in.

          5 Replies
          1. re: mangeur

            Have never seen it refrigerated at local outdoor markets. In stores all are refrigerated, both mi-cuit and fully cooked.

            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              From the US Customs website (https://help.cbp.gov/app/answers/deta...) "As a general rule - if goods are cooked and in shelf-stable (does not require refrigeration) packaging such as cans or other hermetically sealed containers AND they are not from a country affected with various diseases such as Avian influenza, Mad Cow disease, Swine Fever, Exotic Newcastle Disease, etc., they may be admissible."

              Note the gotcha word "may". There is a qualifier at the end of most customs bulletins, the statement that any ruling is open to interpretation by the agents at the ports of entry.

              DH gets around all this by telling me at points of sale "Go on, buy it. We'll get it home." Then on the plane, he hands me the declaration to fill out.

              1. re: mangeur

                'DH gets around all this by telling me at points of sale "Go on, buy it. We'll get it home." Then on the plane, he hands me the declaration to fill out.'

                LOL,LOL

                1. re: mangeur

                  Hmmm: "As a general rule - if goods are cooked and in shelf-stable (does not require refrigeration) packaging such as cans or other hermetically sealed containers ... they may be admissible."

                  Slightly off-topic but related: Just this last Sunday, we returned through SFO with declared mustards, among other items. The customs man asked us if the mustards were "fresh, unpasteurized"? Gulp. It so happened that *some* of our mustards were indeed sealed and pasteurized. And so I mumbled something to that effect.

                  Question: Does this suggest that our unpasteurized Maille mustards in crocs are no longer items that we can without risk bring back? We had always assumed that we were in compliance with these. Were we wrong? Have the rules changed? -- Jake

                  1. re: Jake Dear

                    Can't say, Jake. But your experience exemplifies the vagaries of the system. I think that more likely than rule change is that you got the guy who reads food news as well as the FDA and customs rules and adds a little spice to his otherwise uneventful job. He may be carried away with the concept of unpasteurized and how it doesn't in your case relate to milk or meat products.

                    I most often list mustard along with confiture and other innocuous sounding "foods" if only to look credible. And have never been asked about the mustard.

            2. Wow, all of you are WAY more specific in your item descriptions than we are..hmmm,.maybe that's why the mister has me fill out and hand in the form!

              1. perhaps I am just lucky but I have lugged back all kinds of foods and have never had a problem, just pack them in luggage and don't mention, never had a problem and have brought back cheeses, foie gras in the glass jars, butter, hunks of Spanish ham, dried sausages, whatever. Plan to act dumb if ever caught. Usually returning through either Atlanta or Cincinnati.