Agents seized more than 20 pounds of swine meat and 30 containers of edible bird’s nests from a passenger arriving at JFK Airport from China this week, officials said Thursday morning.
The passenger, who arrived on Monday, declared meat to an U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialist, but did not mention any other food products, the agency said.
During an examination, the swine meat was found to be prohibited, according to officials, who did not specify the reason. The containers of bird’s nests — consumed as a delicacy across the world — were also discovered.
The nests are prohibited because they lack the proper documentation and safeguards to insure they don’t pose a risk to U.S. agriculture, officials said.
Both the meat and the nests were “safeguarded for destruction,” according to the agency.
The passenger was slapped with a civil penalty for failing to declare the bird’s nests.
“This latest seizure highlights the vigilance and dedication to duty that our CBP Agriculture Specialists demonstrate daily to ensure that the United States is safe from unregulated food products entering our country that could potentially cause grave damage to our agricultural and economic vitality,” Troy Miller, the director of field operations for Customs and Border Protection’s New York Field Office, said in a statement.
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