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[2007] Taking food into Mexico

Discussion in 'Mexico Timesharing' started by abbekit, Aug 12, 2007.

  1. abbekit

    abbekit TUG Review Crew: Expert TUG Member

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    We usually pack a few staples in our checked luggage when we stay in a timeshare. Food such as dried pasta, mixed nuts, etc. Are we allowed to bring this type of stuff into Mexico? What about bringing in some bottles (or a box) of wine?

    Can we bring something like cheese and crackers in our carry-on (which we usually bring as part of our lunch since they don't serve meals on planes any more)?
     
  2. pjrose

    pjrose Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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  3. BSQ

    BSQ TUG Member

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    I have yet to find anything that says you can't bring any food items into Mexico with the exception of those listed on the US Customs site of dairy products, fruit, vegetables and meats. what I refer to as "the usual" stuff.

    some bottles or a box of wine, yes, in your checked luggage.

    staple grocery items, yes as long as they don't include any product within the restrictions

    we pack a snack bag (clear plastic lunch bag) of nuts, gold fish, pretzels, candies and home made cookies. It goes through airport screening on the US side and Customs on the Mexican side without incident. I package the items in small ziplocs. Some folks leave them in original packaging but I want them to be able to sea each and every item. I do check all the appropriate website just prior to our trip to check for a change in the rules.
     
  4. california-bighorn

    california-bighorn TUG Member

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    But don't think about bringing meat into Mexico. My sister and her husband brought an ice chest full of steaks (and dry ice) to Cancun that was taken from them. Somewhere in the Cancun area there was a nice bar-b-que that night but it wasn't them.
     
  5. jschmidt

    jschmidt Guest

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    No problem bringing liquor into Mexico. I buy mine at the Duty Free shop in the U.S. airport and the duty free people meet me at the airplane door with it. A bottle of liquor (Absolute Vodka - Blue Label) has always been cheaper at the U.S. Duty Free shop than it is in Mexico!

    Save your plastic glasses from the airplane and you can have a drink when you’re riding in the van to your resort. There's nothing like getting into the party mode ASAP. :wave:
     
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2007
  6. Duke56

    Duke56 TUG Member

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    Taking Food to Mexico

    :) We have been traveling to Mexico for many years and we drive to Mazatlan from our home in Arizona (800+ miles) every year. We take dried and canned foods of all kinds every year without any problems. The only restriction I have seen enforced is the limit of 3 liters of alcoholic beverages. I drove across the border at a local (to me) crossing one day to pick up a vehicle permit and tourist cards and forgot that I had three 1.75 liter jugs of Tanquray gin in the back of the van. The Mexican officer simply warned me that it was not legal to bring more than 3 liters into Mexico and let me go about my business. As someone else has said, don't even think about taking fresh meats or citrus fruits into the country.
     
  7. cymomtx

    cymomtx TUG Member

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    We have brought lunch meat and pork tenderloin in, you just can't bring beef (mad cow disease). And when you bring this type of food it has to be in deli wrapping, original packing or original butcher wrapping with the USDA seal. I've never had trouble as long as it's like this!
     
  8. PStreet1

    PStreet1 TUG Lifetime Member

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    If you take more than the allowed amount of alcohol, be sure you have the purchase receipt with you. They can charge duty of the excess amount, and you'll pay less if you have proof of what it cost you rather than having to accept their estimate.
     
  9. John Cummings

    John Cummings TUG Lifetime Member

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    You cannot bring cheese unless it is in the original package, sealed and unopened. They took our cheese away from us at the Puerto Vallarta customs. We had a few pieces wrapped in cellophane that we snacked on during the trip.
     
  10. maciec

    maciec TUG Member

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    How exactly do you package items that need to remain cold for the plane?

    Also, another silly question .... does dry ice freeze or just keep things cold?
     
  11. m61376

    m61376 TUG Member

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    I like to pack a collapsible rolling cooler inside a duffle bag with other foodstuff. I put perishables in the cooler along with several of those 24 hour gel ice packs (I use the ones used to ship medications) and it holds nicely. I've used it to take frozen steaks, etc. (but of course not into Mexica :-() and it has worked well.
     
  12. SciTchr

    SciTchr TUG Member

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    dry ice

    Dry ice is really cold (about -110˚F). We used it once to pack food for a two week camping trip to Canada. A friend told us to wrap the frozen meat in newspaper or paper bags so it would not get freezer burn from the dry ice. I also wrapped the dry ice in brown paper bags. I packed it all in a styrofoam box that we had received a ham in one year. After the first week I opened the box and our meat was still frozen solid. The dry ice had sublimated and there was nothing in the paper bags. It worked great for that big trip. For a plane trip I would just used gel freezer cubes instead. Also, I started out with frozen meat, but I am thinking it would freeze your meat, being that cold.
     
  13. easyrider

    easyrider TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    We take deli lunch meat, sliced roast beef. turkey. as well as sliced deli cheese into Mexico all the time. We buy our liquor at the duty free store. I usally bring 12 red bulls or rock star energy drinks too. Flavors for our coffee and the coffee + chocolate. No problems so far even when the red light gets us inspected.
     
  14. JEFF H

    JEFF H Guest

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    My experience is Mexican customs is not consistant on enforcement of the no meats,dairy and Veg rules.
    We have driven into Mexico several times with coolers that had meat and dairy and never had a problem.
    we had cans on white Chicken meat seized at the Cancun airport 2 years ago.
    They had USDA lables on the cans but I was told by the customs officer No Meats,dairy or vegetables are allowed period.
    Past trips we had taken deli meats and cheese in the original sealed package with USDA lables and were allowed to pass.
    once we had a package of deli meat without a USDA lable and the customs officer made a fuss about it but then let us continue with it anyways.
     
  15. Deer Path

    Deer Path TUG Member

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    We take a cooler to Mexico with food stuff that we will eat while there. Then when we catch fish and have it frozen we can bring it back with no problem.

    YOU CANNOT USE DRY ICE or any other kind of ICE. I do not know why the dry ice is a problem but they have told us that. They inspect our cooler on our return and then we can duck tape it shut till we get home. It is marked so it does not need to be opened again. We declare it when we return and have had no problem.

    If our fish is frozen solid it usually keeps frozen till we get home. We wrap it in newspapers also to insulate it too. Of course it does depend on how much fish one has also.

    Judy
     
  16. mike15

    mike15 Guest

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    Last year 2006 in September we packed NutriSystems lunch items in our luggage. Everything that listed beef as an ingredient they removed. Chicken pasta etc was OK.

    This year we took no food items so I don't know if the policy is the same.
     
  17. gcole

    gcole TUG Member

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    We are going to PV and would like to bring frozen hot dogs from our butcher. Does anyone have an official link on what can be taken into MX?
     
  18. jimelko

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  19. KarenLK

    KarenLK TUG Member

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    I would not risk the hot dogs. At one point, the meat had to be in a factory sealed package with a USDA seal, and your hot dogs would not fit that bill.
     
  20. pittle

    pittle TUG Member

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    We take a rolling cooler and even though we get the "green light", we have to open it so they can see what is inside. We take the cooler to keep beer & pop in, so it had clothes in it because everytime we take it, they want to look inside. We did take spaghetti sauce and coffee, but had those in a regular suitcase.

    Once we took nuts that I had mixed up in a huge zip-loc bag for snacks to eat while there. The customs guy told me that he would let me through that time, but in the future, bring in the original unopened containers and mix them after getting to Mexico.

    I would not try hot dogs from a butcher. Karen is right. It has to be sealed. We bought Oscar Mayer beef franks at either Walmart or the Mega store for our grandson.
     
  21. rachelgreen

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    I think is ok to bring ordinary food to the plane, but you'd better put the wine or alcohol in checked luggage.
     
  22. quezsmith

    quezsmith TUG Member

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    I don't think that dry ice is allowed on commercial airlines. We had to remove our dry ice a few years ago after they discovered it (they questioned why my suitcase was so cold).

    These are a few of Mexico's restrictions:
    Many food items - especially meats, plants, seeds, vegetables etc.
    Cigars and cigarettes - more than 20 packs per person
    Liquor and wine - more than 3 liters per person
    Film or videocassettes - more than 12 rolls/cassettes
    Medicine for personal use - you must have a prescription if you needed one to get the medicine in the first place.
     
  23. DosMasCervesos

    DosMasCervesos TUG Member

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    Enforcement is very inconsistent. We always bring in some food for our daughter that is on a very restrictive diet because of multiple food allergies.

    Last time in Cancun, while waiting for our luggage, two customs officers and their German Shepherd stopped in front of our daughter because of some hot dog she had in a carry on. They were both very friendly/nice, but they took the hot dog.

    Fast forward 10 minutes as we go through customs with our checked luggage. They now x-ray ALL incoming luggage. Ours set off their red flag because, well, one of them had several packages of frozen hot dogs. So off to the table for a manual inspection of the entire suitcase. Result -- the customs officer opened package seeing frozen hot dogs, clearly saw them, closed suitcase and sent us on our way. I got the feeling that he shouldn't have done that, but it was probably a borderline case and he decided to just let is slide.

    -DMC
     
  24. pittle

    pittle TUG Member

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    I read something in the Phoenix paper this summer that Mexico has recently replaced most of the Customs Inspectors with new ones with special training. Most of the new ones are significantly more educated - the article said that many had college degrees and most had gone to college at least one year. Those that were fired or laid off have to take additional training and can apply again.

    This has more to do with drug and weapons traffic than food, but, they supposedly are checking more stuff.
     
  25. John Cummings

    John Cummings TUG Lifetime Member

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    That is not true about alcohol and wine. Personally we don't ever do it as we don't drink adult beverages. However many people carry loose bottles of liquor and wine on the plane, especially if they bought it in the duty free store. On a trip to Nuevo Vallarta, a bottle of liquor fell out of the overhead bin when somebody opened the bin during the flight. The bottle hit my wife smack on her head which caused her some severe headaches and swelling. She had to go to the doctor at the Grand Mayan. The people who owned the bottle never said a word to her about it. I hope that people would realize that stuff in the overhead bins shift around and they would be more careful with where they place loose bottles etc.
     

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