MSP Customs and Border Protection officers seize 83 pounds of restricted meat

(ABC 6 News) – U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) last week seized 83 pounds of restricted meat from a passenger arriving from South Africa.

When the passenger arrived, he notified an officer he wanted to declare the meat in his luggage. CBP officers determined the meat to be beef biltong, a meat similar to beef jerky that is cured and dried in South Africa.

The CBP said meat that is cured and dried from South Africa is restricted because it could carry animal diseases, including Foot and Mouth Disease.

The passenger requested the meat not be seized because it cost over $2,000. However, the meat was destroyed via steam sterilization.

“Our nation’s food supply is constantly at risk to diseases not known to occur in the United States,” said Augustine Moore, Area Port Director, Minneapolis.  “This interception highlights the vigilance and dedication that our CBP Agriculture Specialists demonstrate, daily. They ensure that the United States is safe from harmful diseases that could affect our food supply.”

The most common items seized are pork and beef sausages, plants, plant materials, seeds for planting, and fruit. During certain holidays and seasons, there is a significant increase in beef and pork seizures, according to the CBP.

Travelers are encouraged to visit the CBP Information Center section on the CBP website or call (877) 227-5511 for information on allowed and restricted items.