About That Spanish Ham …

If you bring ham back from Spain, be prepared for it to be confiscated at Customs.

We lost about $25 worth last month at the Philadelphia airport. The concern, the agent told us, is hoof-and-mouth disease. Don’t be fooled, as we were, by the shop clerks who tell you that the packaged, vacuum-packed slices of ham are cleared for U.S. Customs. It just ain’t true.

Says the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Information Center: Parma, Iberian or Serrano hams – Call (301)734- 7633 or (301) 734-3277. Only certain plants are certified exporters, and the hams must be accompanied by certificates and seals.

We had the ham and it was sealed, but there were no seals per se and certainly no certificates.

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