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Travellers alerted over import of foreign foods

By Linda Stewart

Raw pork from the Philippines and dried fish from Nigeria are among the peculiar foodstuffs that people have tried to bring home to Northern Ireland from their holidays. Not to mention the occasional live cricket.

But Agriculture Minister Michelle Gildernew has warned people against bringing illegal food into Northern Ireland, advising that these could introduce serious disease and unwanted pests which could threaten local livestock and crops.

Over 513kg of food products were seized at local airports last year by her officials, she said.

Among these were items such as ghee from India, corned beef from South America, raw pork from the Philippines and dried fish from Nigeria. Officials have even seized live insects such as crickets and spiders that crept into beach towels.

“At this time of year returning holidaymakers should remember that there are basic rules on what they can and can't bring home with them,” Ms Gildernew said.

“Illegal goods will be seized and destroyed, and delays to passengers may result. The department may also choose to seek prosecution and a fine.”

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