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The Traveller's Magazine
  •   2 min read

Food is a big part of travel and when we fall in love with new flavours abroad, it’s only natural to want to bring those back with us. Spices from India or Morocco, smoked octopus from Thailand, honey from Eastern Europe, sausage from Hungary… but do you know what you can and cannot bring into the UK after holidays?

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Gifting food items to friends and family after an amazing holiday is real love. Edible souvenirs are the best way to share a new culture and they don’t clutter up someone’s house (you can only have so many fridge magnets and figurines), just their spice cabinet if you’ve just come back from a holiday in India. There are however restrictions when it comes to what food and drink items you can and cannot bring back into the UK.

Here’s the breakdown.

spiceshop
Spice shop in Morocco

It all depends on where you’re travelling from

Travelling from within the EU

What you can bring into the UK all depends on where you’re travelling from. If it’s from within the EU (including the Canary Islands, Andorra, Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Liechtenstein, Norway, San Marino and Switzerland) then you can bring in any fruit, vegetables, meat, daily plus other animal products (fish, eggs, honey) into the UK with no problem.

Travelling from outside the EU

To put it simply: you cannot bring meat, meat products, milk, dairy products or potatoes into the UK from most countries outside of the European Union.

You can bring:

  • up to 2kg of fruits and vegetables (except potatoes) as long as they are free from signs of pests and diseases, are for you and your family to consume and are carried in your personal luggage.

You may also bring eggs and honey (up to 2kg) and fish (up to 20kg or 1 fish, whichever is the heaviest). If you’re bringing back a fish in your luggage, it must be fresh, gutted, cooked, cured, dried or smoked.

Have a penchant for caviar? There is a limit of 125g per person of the sturgeon species.

fish
Fish monger at a market in Jakarta

The following food products are exempt from these rules

Which means that any of these would make perfect souvenirs for your friends and family.

  • Cakes, biscuits (unless they contain fresh cream)
  • Chocolate and confectionery (except Burfi, Gulab Jaman, Halwah or Halva, Ras Malai, RasGullah, Ladoos, and Chum Chum)
  • Pasta and noodles
  • Olives stuffed with fish

For more information, please consult the guides on gov.uk.

There you have it, what kind of foodie things do you like to bring home from your travels?

Imgs: roubicek, ccharmon/ Flickr cc.

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