Reader Question: What food items can I take from France to the UK as gifts when I visit family?
There are certain restrictions on bringing fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products into the UK but these are, for the time being, relaxed if you are coming from an EU country.
Note, however, that slightly different rules (for example, banning certain vegetables) exist relating to Northern Ireland, so the following comments mostly concern England, Scotland and Wales.
Also note that the rules may be subject to change by the end of 2023 when the UK intends to impose full animal and plant checks on EU imports (these have been in place in the UK to EU direction since the start of last year).
The UK government states that as a general rule there are no restrictions on bringing from any foreign country food products such as:
Bread (but not sandwiches with meat and dairy products)
Cakes without fresh cream
Pasta and noodles, as long as they are not mixed or filled with meat products
Packaged soup, stocks and flavourings
Processed and packaged plant products such as salads
Food supplements such as fish oil capsules
Therefore, if you are planning to pack any of these products, you do not need to worry.
If travelling from an EU member state, it is also possible to bring in meat, dairy, fish and other animal products such as eggs and honey as long as they are only for personal use. The same applies to fruit, vegetables and nuts.
However, there are restrictions if you are bringing more than 2kg of pork or pork products.
You can only bring in pork or pork products over 2kgs if they are either:
commercially packaged with an EU identification mark
stamped with a health mark if it is a carcass
These items are free from customs duties and VAT as long as their value is less than £390 per adult.
You can check the latest UK rules at this link.