Can I Bring Beef Jerky to Italy? A Complete Guide for Travelers

Ciao jerky lovers! If you’re planning a trip to bella Italia and want to bring your favorite beefy snack along, you may be in for a disappointment Italy’s customs regulations on importing meat products are super strict, so can you actually bring beef jerky into the country?

As a frequent Italy traveler and beef jerky fanatic myself, I’ve done lots of research on this topic. Keep reading for the lowdown on Italy’s policies, tips for bringing jerky (at your own risk!), and some tasty local alternatives to try instead. Get your culinary passport ready, we’re going on a meaty adventure!

The Short Answer: No Jerky Allowed!

I’ll start with the unfortunate news – according to Italy’s customs rules beef jerky and other meat products cannot be brought into the country by travelers. Bummer!

This regulation applies to all non-European Union visitors, in order to prevent foreign animal diseases or contaminated meats from entering Italy. All meat and dairy products are banned for import.

So no matter how artisanal or grass-fed your jerky is, customs will still consider it a prohibited item. Don’t let the TSA’s allowing jerky in your carry-on fool you – Italy plays by different rules!

Understanding Italy’s Strict Customs Policies

Italy’s restriction on imported meat products stems from the European Union’s overall focus on protecting agriculture, the food supply, and the environment.

Specifically, the EU’s Union Customs Code and additional Italian regulations aim to stop the introduction of foreign pests, livestock diseases, or contaminated/unsafe food items that could potentially harm public health, native species, or the country’s farms and crops.

As a result, all meat and dairy products from non-EU nations are completely prohibited. Produce and other food items may also be seized if inspectors determine they pose a threat.

Customs policies can change quickly too, so always verify regulations before packing food! Declare what you bring to be safe.

Clever Ways Jerky Lovers Try to Smuggle Their Stash

I don’t recommend breaking the rules, but some determined jerky fanatics have tried creative tactics to sneak their meaty contraband into Italy, including:

  • Sandwiching jerky inside a book in their luggage (risky!)
  • Vacuum sealing it with their toiletries (sneaky)
  • Shipping a batch ahead to their hotel (smart?)
  • Burying it deep in a jar of peanut butter (desperate times)

Alas, no method can guarantee success. If caught, you may face fines or have jerky confiscated. Rules exist for good reason, even if devastating to jerky addicts!

Tasty Beef Jerky Alternatives to Try in Italy

While you’ll need to leave your treasured stash at home, Italy has its own take on dried meats that are just as delectable. Here are some to seek out:

  • Coppiette – Pork or beef dried into chewy, spiced strips, often with chili pepper
  • Cecina – Smoky strips of salted, dried Spanish-style beef, eaten with olive oil
  • Pendola – A traditional snack of beef/sheep dried over a hearth with mountain herbs
  • Edgars Pilzjerky – Chewy mushroom “jerky” with bold Italian seasoning

Italy’s charcuterie culture means you’ll discover all kinds of artisanal dried meats to enjoy. And you won’t have to smuggle them through customs!

The Verdict: Leave the Jerky at Home

To wrap up: Can you bring beef jerky into Italy? Unfortunately nope, it’s prohibited. Don’t try to sneak it in your luggage!

Instead, research Italy’s amazing dried meats and salamis so you can discover local specialties once you arrive. There’s a whole meaty world to explore, minus the airport security scrutiny.

Day in the life at a beef jerky factory


Can I bring dried meat to Italy?

They are prohibited, assuming you’re coming from a non-EU country.

Can I take food in my suitcase to Italy?

I know people bring it in their luggage all of the time, but I want to know what is permissable. Meat, fruit, plants, etc., are not allowed. I’ve seen people bring some wheels of cheese in but it was an entire wheel. We’ve brought back wine and cannelini beans (dried) and the customs folks didn’t care.

Can I take snacks to Italy?

I always have snacks for myself and usually leftovers, have never had a problem taking them into Italy. Avoid fresh produce like an apple or orange. Produce is often prohibited by customs. Candy and crackers should be OK.

Can I bring beef jerky to the UK?

While the U.K. allows the importation of meat from European Union (EU) countries, you can’t bring meat from the U.S. or other countries outside the EU. So if you’re asking yourself, “Can I bring beef jerky into the U.K.?” the answer lies in where your flight originates. Can I Take Beef Jerky to Europe?

Do I need to declare beef jerky when traveling?

For example, if you’re traveling to a country with strict agricultural regulations, such as Australia or New Zealand, you may be required to declare any food items, including beef jerky, upon arrival. It’s always a good idea to check the customs regulations of your destination country before you pack any food items in your luggage.

Can you bring beef jerky to Canada?

Canada doesn’t let you bring fresh, dried or cured meats into the country. So no, you can’t bring beef jerky to Canada. But the country has some specifications that jerky might fall under, so always check first. Can You Bring Beef Jerky to the U.S.?

Can I carry meat if I travel in the EU?

If you are travelling in the EU you can carry meat or dairy products with you as long as they are for your own personal consumption. This also applies to plants or plant products, such as cut flowers, fruit or vegetables as long as they have been grown in an EU country and are free from pests or disease.

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