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Old 07-16-2014, 11:02 PM   #1
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Food Allowed in Canada?

We are crossing into Canada in a few days. I know I have seen threads about this before but not having any luck finding it. Is it best not to take any fresh or frozen food into Canada? I have some dairy products, lunch meat, some fruit, packaged salad mix. I don't want to tempt fate and don't mind disposing of it if I need to. Thank you!
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Old 07-17-2014, 12:38 AM   #2
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Generally not an issue if the quantities are for personal use, so there is no suspicion of commercial importation.

There are some variations by province depending on local agriculture; if you are crossing into BC it is best to leave the potatoes, apples, and stone fruit at home, and purchase here.

See the link for more details.

What Can I Bring Into Canada in Terms Of Food, Plant, Animal and Related Products? - Food - Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Be aware that similar (but different) rules will apply when you cross back into the US.

Jeff
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Old 07-17-2014, 05:54 AM   #3
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Every time we went into Canada they were concerned about how much cash we had, how much alcohol we had, health papers on the dog, and guns.

Coming out of Canada, however, the US Customs wants to know if you have any meat that was purchased in Canada.

This was in '08 and '10.
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Old 07-17-2014, 07:04 AM   #4
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Coming back into the US is more restrictive , in my experience.

I declared I had some fruit and vegetables, thinking I would be allowed to just hand them over. Nope. An hour later, after a thorough search of our car and trailer, the agent had the suspect fruit along with orange peels from the garbage can and two avocados I had forgotten were in the refrigerator. She wasn't sure about the avocados, it depended on their country of origin, which was noted on a sticker. After looking it up she deemed them unallowable and we had to give them up.

Lesson learned, next time I won't have ANY fruits or veggies when we cross the border.
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Old 07-17-2014, 08:41 AM   #5
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Not a problem going into Canada.

When crossing back into the US, we were practically strip searched, then threatened with arrest for 3 green onions, not declared, but discovered by the Border Patrol. A 45 minute travel delay. Declare everything
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:43 AM   #6
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I just got back from a two-week trip to Canada and Alaska. When going into Canada no meat, fruit or firewood (bark beetles) and declare alcohol and absolutely NO GUNS! Guns are problem up there because everyone in Alaska has a gun and no one in Canada carries a gun in their vehicle.
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Old 07-17-2014, 11:48 AM   #7
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We have really noted the past couple of years that the Border Crossings into the U.S. have become much more visitor friendly - for a bunch of years after 9/11 we were pulled over and the trailer given a cursory look through - mostly in the pantry - just about anything fresh and perishable was an issue - but in the last several years we haven't been pulled over at all - just asked the routine questions and sent on our way.


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Old 07-17-2014, 01:33 PM   #8
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Same experience here heading back into the U.S. We declared that we had some food leftover in the trailer (that was originally purchased in the U.S.) - and that was enough to pull us over, search the truck and trailer and put our dogs into a kennel while they searched - not fun! This was in October of 2013.
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Old 07-18-2014, 12:05 AM   #9
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I think we will just dump everything before we go over. What about staples like rice, pasta, sugar and flour?
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Old 07-18-2014, 01:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by silverlabs View Post
I think we will just dump everything before we go over. What about staples like rice, pasta, sugar and flour?
I don't understand why you would do that, unless you are referring to re entering the US. The links provided list all the things you can bring in to Canada.

The controlled items are due to concerns about carrying soil in, in many cases. That is why potatoes are on the list. Another poster had trouble with green onions, probably for the same reason.

We have never had an issue coming into Canada from the US. But we have had delays and searches when entering the US from Canada.
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Old 07-18-2014, 11:11 PM   #11
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Thanks to all! We had a seamless crossing. The border agent just checked our papers, asked the usual questions and sent us on our way. I did notice he looked at our passports carefully but he explained that he had watched CFL last night and a player on one of the teams was from Waxahachie. The announcers discussed the proper pronunciation of it and where it was located. Then, to his surprise, we turned up at his booth today!
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Old 07-19-2014, 01:32 AM   #12
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Have a great stay in Canada!

I found this thread after your border crossing but was going to recommend this information:

What Can I Bring Into Canada in Terms Of Food, Plant, Animal and Related Products? - Food - Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Just in case anybody else heading north is interested....

Generally it's not a question of "what" but "how much." But the allowed quantities are substantial. Once in a while a particular type of produce is not allowed across the border due to particular concerns. We only had this happen once (fresh strawberries) in many years.

Firewood is a big problem for both countries due to insect infestations--it should be left in its site of origin.

Each adult passenger is allowed a 5th of liquor or 2 bottles of wine or a six-pack of beer.

Canadians living near the border grocery shop in the US all the time, because the prices generally are cheaper, and there is no duty or tax charged on groceries.
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Old 07-19-2014, 02:00 AM   #13
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Re: wine/beer imported to Canada: I believe it's 2 litres wine or 24 beer per adult.
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Old 07-19-2014, 10:50 PM   #14
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Whatever.. just tell them it's French... if they ask how they can know for sure.. tell them you will surrender immediately.
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