Get my jam to the States
December 11, 2017 7:33 PM   Subscribe

I made some jam. I want to get said jam to the States.

So I've made some Damson plum jam (it's an old family favourite) and I want to give some to my brother (who lives in the US) for Christmas.

I have two options -
A) he'll be back here in New Zealand for Christmas and he can take it back with him on the plane.
B) I send it to him in the post.

I understand that provided it's a gift and isn't meant for commercial sale, US customs won't have a problem with it. Are there any biosecurity matters I need to be aware of?

Obviously, as it's a preserve, it's cooked and there's heaps of sugar in it so I don't believe I'll have any problems but, as with any bureaucracy, it pays to make sure I've got things right.
posted by Start with Dessert to Law & Government (3 answers total)
Hawaii and to a lesser extent California are uptight about fresh produce or live animals and plants, but I've never heard of either of them having an issue with processed and cooked foodstuffs. Their concern is mostly about ecological dangers and agricultural pests (many and varied in Hawaii's island ecosystem; mostly just citrus canker and a few similar produce bugs in California), and I don't imagine they'd regard your jam as a threat. If he's not going to Hawaii, it's doubtful anyone would particularly make a priority of even confirming he doesn't have invasives (I have totally flown to California, albeit on a domestic flight, with an illicit clementine in my backpack).

If it's on a plane into the US, better to put it in checked luggage though, because the TSA is still, at random intervals, weird about liquids and vaguely liquid-like substances.
posted by jackbishop at 9:02 PM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Is this home canned with glass jars and snap lids? I've got a problem with driving my home canning between my home at 300m and work at 1400 meters. Occasionally the vacuum seal will release from the pressure difference. The differential will be greater on a plane. Jam of course will be fine if a lid pops for a long time afterwards but it can freak one out if you haven't verified the jars were fine before travel.
posted by Mitheral at 10:33 PM on December 11, 2017 [1 favorite]

Yeah - I figured that travel in the checked luggage, in zip lock bags, packed in a very secure fashion is the way to go.

Biosecurity in New Zealand is higher than most other countries - this makes me more sensitive to potential issues. If I were trying to do this the other way round, I would likely be unable to unless it was a commercially made jam.

Thanks for putting my mind at ease.
posted by Start with Dessert at 1:20 AM on December 12, 2017

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