How Many Countries Qualify For World Cup In Europe Bringing South African Biltong Into the UK and EU

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Bringing South African Biltong Into the UK and EU

When the earliest settlers from the Netherlands and Europe traveled to South Africa they took something special with them; the basic recipe for Biltong. The idea of ​​salting and drying meat had existed for centuries, probably millennia, and it was also discovered among the current inhabitants. South Africa’s abundance of game made it an ideal place for European settlers to establish themselves, and the tradition of air-dry cured meat was the ideal way to make the most of this abundance. Biltong has developed into a delicious and versatile ‘processed’ meat, which is not only a favorite snack, but can provide the basis for a huge variety of dishes, from soups to stews to salads. You’d think the EU wouldn’t mind people bringing it back. Unfortunately, they do!

The Ban on Importing Food Products into the EU

Unfortunately, Biltong falls under the strict regulations that the EU imposes on food imports. The import and export of foodstuffs between the EU countries themselves is not restricted. However, the import of meat and meat products, fish, poultry and vegetable products are all subject to strict controls when they come from outside the EU. Food importers are able to import some items but the long and complicated process for registration and permission is more than most can cope with. So what is the problem and what are the limitations?

The problem, in short, is that the European authorities take the concerns about the introduction of non-native pests and diseases very seriously. An outbreak of foot and mouth disease in the UK in 2001 had a devastating effect on UK farmers and food suppliers. This was probably a domestic disaster, but the authorities point to it as an example of how serious infections and diseases can be. There are lesser restrictions on some dairy and poultry products from countries outside the EU but the restrictions on meat and meat products are the strictest. Biltong, unfortunately for South African expats, falls under this category. In the past the restrictions were mainly aimed at commercial importers but these have been extended to individual travelers and mean that it is now illegal to bring this type of product into EU countries by including the UK.

This means that there are heavy penalties for bringing ‘prohibited meat’ into the EU and they are dealt with under smuggling regulations. Entry into EU countries will be severely delayed, possibly refused or end in prosecution, if you are caught trying to ‘smuggle’ even the most innocuous snack items into a state in the EU. The laws also apply to postal deliveries from distant shores, which will be classified as an attempt to import illegal foods into the country and result in the same penalties. Postal deliveries are probably more likely to be detected than attempts to accidentally bring a package of Biltong into the EU, but neither is recommended and you should always check current regulations the EU to avoid mistakes. Thankfully, with the number of South African residents increasing in the UK and Europe, the idea of ​​producing a bit of home while away has led to the production of Biltong in the UK and other EU nations. Using traditional South African methods and recipes, the number of bilton suppliers is on the rise. Not only providing a much needed reminder of home, but also educating a whole new generation of Europeans about the joys of Biltong.

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