"The Winter Olympics begin shortly in South Korea, bringing us two weeks of incredible athletic performances. While many of us will watch the games from our TVs, computers or phones, some lucky individuals will travel to witness the games in person. And when traveling, people often bring back items as souvenirs or as gifts for those of us at home. If you are traveling to the Olympics (or anywhere outside the country), keep in mind there are rules about agricultural products being brought into the U.S.
USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service works to protect American agriculture in many ways, including keeping potentially harmful pests and diseases out of the country. Without knowing it, the items you try to bring back from your international travels could impact the health and safety of American agriculture and natural resources. So be aware when you are selecting souvenirs and gifts – there are some items travelers cannot safely bring back.
Travelers cannot bring back any beef, poultry, lamb, goat and/or pork products without a proper import permit issued by USDA. This includes meat, noodles with meat flavorings, soups, mooncakes, etc. – even if they are commercially produced and purchased.Travelers cannot hand carry any fresh fruits, vegetables or seeds into the U.S. Travelers also cannot hand carry bonsai or potted plants. These items can only enter the U.S. through commercial shipments with the proper permits..."
2018 Winter Olympics