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Restrictions on What You Can Bring into Canada

Eggs and raw poultry from certain states are currently not allowed in Canada

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Visiting Canada? Find out the new regulations on what you can't bring in from the United States.

Restriction on imports from certain US States affected by Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI)

If you're planning a trip to Canada or Ontario's Sunset Country this summer from the United States you need to be aware of new food restrictions currently in effect. The highly pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has been discovered in many states in the USA. The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) has implemented measures to protect Canada's poultry resources from an outbreak of the Avian Flu.

UPDATE: March 21, 2016

Current restrictions are products from Indiana only. Last April the states affected were Arkansas, California, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Washington and Wisconsin. 

Products restricted from these states are all raw poultry and all poultry products and by-products that are not fully cooked, including eggs and raw pet foods, sourced, processed, or packaged from the above states are under restriction until further notice. The last update was on March 21, 2016.

Examples of restricted items include: 

  • live birds and hatching eggs
  • eggs, yolks, egg whites 
  • poultry meat (other than fully cooked, canned, commercially sterile meat products)
  • raw pet foods containing poultry products
  • feathers
  • poultry manure and litter
  • laboratory material containing poultry products/by-products

Raw poultry and eggs are not allowed into Canada at this timeRaw poultry and eggs are not allowed into Canada at this time 

I called the National Import Service Centre to see if a person can bring in eggs from a State such as Tennessee, which is currently not on the list of affected States. Technically, if you could prove that is was bought in Tennessee and that is was not produced in one of the affected States, you could potentially bring them.

However, it is strongly suggested you don't.

Edit since first publication: Currently Minnesota and North Dakota are not on the list so it may be easier to bring in these products, however, it's probably best to still buy in Canada. For one, the line-ups at the border are longer in the summertime and will probably be a bit longer this summer with people that don't know or follow the new regulations. So, for everyone's sake it'll save time if you don't bring any of the affected products into Canada at this time. Plus if you are coming into Ontario's Sunset Country by car this summer, you are mostly likely going through Minnesota or North Dakota, both States with the ban on. This would increase the chance that the border official may not let you bring in the product. Ultimately, it's up to the border crossing guard to say whether or not you can bring it in as they are enforcing directives from the CFIA and attempting to keep the food safer for everyone visiting and living in Canada.  

I don't know about you, but when I am on vacation, the last thing I would want to do is to drive back into the United States and dump the food. I'd want to just get up in Canada and go fishing! Please just buy your eggs and raw poultry in Canada this summer. (The strong US dollar gets you a great deal too!)

Keep the line-up at the Canadian border short by following the rules.

If you want to know the wait time at the borders into Canada, you can follow the updates on Twitter. If you are crossing into Canada at the Fort Frances, ON/International Falls, MN follow @CBSA_FFB if you are crossing into Emerson, MB/Pembina, ND, follow @CBSA_EMR

What Types of Food Can I Bring into Canada?

Visitors to Canada are required, by law, to declare all plant, animal, and food items they bring into the Country. This includes items related to plants, animals and food, or their by-products.

If you bring these products into Canada, you may go through further inspections at the point of entry (that is, border crossings, airports). Be prepared for delays if further inspection is required. 

Common Food Products Allowed into Canada:

  • Dairy Products: up to 20 kgs (44 lbs). Please not that quantities in excess of $20 may be subject to HIGH duty rates.
  • Fish and Seafood: all species except pufferfish and Chinese mitten crab
  • Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: one bag up to 4kgs (8.8 lbs) of US #1 potatoes/person in a commercial package, 15 packages or less up to 250 kgs (550 lbs) of fresh fruits and vegetables per person (excluding potatoes), restrictions on some fresh fruit and vegetables from California, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington
  • Frozen or Canned Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits - up to 15 frozen packages or 15 cans per person, but not more than 250 kgs (550 lbs), Vegetables - up to 20 kgs (44 lbs) of frozen vegetables per person
  • Dried Fruits and Vegetables Including Herbs: Up to 15 packages per person, but not more than 250 kgs (550 lbs)
  • Spices, Tea, Coffee: Permitted
  • Meat and Poultry Products (Jerky, sausages, deli meats and patties, fois gras): Up to 20 kgs (44 lbs)/person, packaging must have identifying marks, indicating what the product is, proof of country of origin may be required. Raw or uncooked poultry are not allowed at this time.
  • Meat and Poultry Products (Fresh, frozen and Chilled): Up to 20 kgs (44 lbs)/person, packaging must have identifying marks, indicating what the product is, proof of country of origin may be required. Raw or uncooked poultry are not allowed at this time.

For a complete list of which food products you can or cannot bring into Canada, visit the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's websiteBecause pest and disease situations are constantly changing, these requirements may be adjusted at any time. Please check back often and before you leave home the United States.

Have a great trip to Canada, drive safe and enjoy your stay! Please share this article with your friends who are going to Canada this summer.  

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