importing-food-for-food-restrictions

DWQA QuestionsCategory: General Travel Questionsimporting-food-for-food-restrictions
Kimberly asked 4 years ago

Hello! We will be traveling to Mal Pais in mid Feb & our children have severe food sensitivities. Is it possible to bring packaged food items (labels in English), such as Gluten Free & GMO Free & organic items with us, without them being taken at the airport? (dry goods, pastas, rice, nut butters etc)  Is it also possible to bring a cooler with frozen meats, dairy & products that I know are safe for them to consume without labels being in Spanish? Our food is very expensive & if it all got taken it would be a major issue, as I cannot translate the many things my children are allergic to off the labels in a local grocery store. Are these types of products available for us to buy in CR near the Mal Pais area? Very much appreciate your help in this area! You surely aren’t missing anything here in New England with all the awful snow we are having either!!! (Rhode Islanders, only 1hr from Boston) Good for you for following your dreams!!

1 Answers
Jenn and Matt Staff answered 4 years ago

Hi Kimberly, 
You are likely here already but if not here is some info. We have brought in many food items in our luggage before like granola bars, cliff bars, peanut butter, specialty grains, etc. We’ve never attempted any perishable items but I think those would likely raise some red flags in customs. When you fill out your customs form they ask you if you have any “fresh foods” so they are probably trying to avoid those from entering the country without certain procedures. That being said, we have heard of people packing some smoked meats or cheeses into their bags without trouble. If you are renting a car or taking a shuttle van, you can ask if they have a cooler available. Your best bet would be to shop at a store such as the Auto Mercado (mostly around San Jose) and bring the foods with you to Montezuma. If not, lots of bigger grocery stores will have a small selection of natural and gluten free foods. If you are here already and figured out some options in your travels, please share your experience for others, if you have a chance. Thanks!  

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