LOS ANGELES, Nov. 18 (UPI) ─ United States Customs and Border Protection agents destroyed over 450 tamales at Los Angeles International airport after discovering that some of them contained pork.
A passenger traveling from Mexico to Los Angeles was attempting to transport the traditional Mexican dishes, but was stopped by Customs and Border Protection after declaring the food on his customs form and verbally denying the presence of any pork products.
A press release states that upon further inspection, agents discovered over 450 pork tamales wrapped in plastic bags.
The transportation of pork products across international borders is not permitted due to fear of disease.
“Although tamales are a popular holiday tradition, foreign meat products can carry serious animal diseases from countries affected by outbreaks of Avian Influenza, Mad Cow and Swine Fever,” said Los Angeles CBP Acting Director of Field Operations Anne Maricich.
Following the inspection the tamales were immediately “seized and destroyed” in order to prevent the potential spread of infectious food borne diseases.
The passenger was also assessed a $1,000 fine as customs officials speculate that he was transporting the tamales with the intent of placing them for sale to the public.