Traveling With Food or Agricultural Products

Last Modified: March 23, 2024

Welcome! This page will help you understand which foods or agricultural products can be brought into the United States from another country or into the U.S. mainland from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Where Are You Traveling From?

Important Travel Considerations

U.S. citizens and international visitors who visit a farm or make contact with live animals in another country can unknowingly spread potentially devastating animal diseases.

Before entering the United States, travelers should:

  1. Launder all clothing worn at the farm or while in contact with animals,
  2. Remove any dirt or debris from shoes, equipment, or other articles before packing them,
  3. Shower or bathe, wash hair, clean fingernails, and clear nasal passages (blow nose).
  4. Declare to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials that they have been in close proximity to livestock before entering the United States. 

If you are traveling with a pet or other small animal, please visit Pet Travel for more information on how to safely bring a pet into the United States.

Animal disease outbreaks occur regularly all over the world, and travelers may not know when an outbreak has occurred. Some animal diseases (such as foot-and-mouth disease, avian or swine influenza, African horse sickness, and many other serious conditions of livestock and other animals) can survive and remain infectious for up to a week on clothing, shoes, and other items. The diseases, while they may not affect people, can also be carried on skin, hair, under fingernails, and in nasal passages. In addition, pets–such as dogs, cats, birds, and other small animals–can carry these diseases without showing any signs of illness.

Travelers entering the United States must declare all agricultural or wildlife products to U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials. You must also tell them if you visited a farm or were in contact with animals before traveling to the United States.

U.S. agricultural inspectors will examine your items to be sure they meet entry requirements and do not harbor harmful foreign pests or diseases. U.S. inspectors have the authority to make a final determination about whether your products can enter the country. We recommend that you keep receipts and original packaging of agricultural products as proof of their country of origin.

As long as you declare all the agricultural products you are bringing with you, you will not face any penalties—even if an inspector determines that these products cannot enter the country.