Not all foods OK to transport

Q and A

Q&a

June 04, 2006|By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE

Recently some of our frozen meat and seafood was confiscated at the airport in Los Cabos, Mexico. How can we find out what food items are allowed from the United States and in what form?

The following information comes from the office of the Mexican secretary of agriculture:

If you are transporting meat across the border, it should be frozen and kept in its original packaging so that it can be identified, with the U.S. Department of Agriculture stamp clearly visible. You are allowed a maximum of 15 kilograms (33 pounds) per person. Beef is subject to inspection; pork is not but should also be in its packaging.

The importation of crab is not permitted unless it has met certain requirements. But we were unable to find out what those requirements are and whether they apply to all seafood.

You are also advised not to bring in chicken, which may be prohibited because of reports of avian flu.

My nail scissors were confiscated by security personnel at Vancouver International Airport in Canada. I thought the TSA said they were OK.

Those regulations apply only to U.S. airports. In December, when the Transportation Security Administration eased its rules about prohibited carry-on items, it did not emphasize that fliers must check with their carriers if they are traveling internationally.

In fact, while the TSA said some items are now OK to carry - scissors with a cutting edge of less than four inches and tools such as small screwdrivers, wrenches and pliers - it failed to note that Canadian airports were sticking with their rules. Pointed scissors, screwdrivers and wrenches are still not allowed.

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