Los Angeles, California – US Customs agents seized 450 pork tamales at LAX from a traveler returning from Mexico.
The individually wrapped tamales, which the carrier declared through customs as a food product but failed to mention contained meat, were confiscated.
“Although tamales are a popular holiday tradition, foreign meat products can carry serious animal diseases,” said Anne Maricich, CBP acting director of field operations in Los Angeles.
A customs agriculture specialist inspected the traveler’s bags and found the tamales filled with pork. The tamales were seized and destroyed, and the traveler was given a $1,000 fine for commercial activity with the intent to distribute, officials said.
During 2014, CBP agriculture specialists issued 75,330 civil violations and intercepted more than 1.6 million animal by-product, meat and plant/soil quarantine products nationwide.