Can You Bring Bacon to Egypt? A Guide to Importing Meat Products

Egypt’s beautiful pyramids,Luxor temples and sunny Red Sea resorts draw millions of tourists every year. When vacationing abroad, many travelers look forward to enjoying the local food and cuisine. However Egypt’s status as a predominantly Muslim country leads many visitors to wonder about bringing restricted items like pork and bacon when they visit.

Can you pack some bacon in your suitcase for those hotel breakfasts in Cairo and Sharm El Sheikh? Are there any regulations on importing meat products into Egypt? Let’s take a closer look at the rules on bringing pork and other meats into the country

Overview of Bringing Meat and Pork into Egypt

In general, visitors to Egypt can bring in limited quantities of meat, pork, and bacon for personal consumption on their trip. However, fresh meats are restricted, and items like pork must be properly packaged and declared. Here are some key regulations to keep in mind:

  • Fresh meat, live animals, eggs, and soil are prohibited from import to prevent disease.

  • Up to 3-5 kilograms of packaged and canned meats like beef jerky or bacon is permitted with declaration.

  • Pork products must be declared upon arrival but small quantities for personal use are usually allowed.

  • Hunting trophies and taxidermy require special import permits from the government.

  • Always keep meats in your carry-on when transferring – do not check them into luggage!

With proper understanding of the laws, you can legally bring many types of packaged and processed meats like bacon into Egypt. However, fresh meat and produce require more caution.

Prohibited Meat and Dairy Items

To protect public and environmental health, Egypt has strict regulations banning the import of the following:

  • Raw beef, chicken, pork, or any fresh meat or seafood
  • Live animals and pets
  • Non-sterilized milk or dairy
  • Raw eggs
  • Honey and beeswax
  • Soil or earth in any quantity
  • Plants, seeds, nuts or fresh fruit/vegetables

The importation of these products could introduce infectious diseases like avian flu or foot and mouth disease that pose grave risks to Egypt’s livestock and crops.

Smuggling banned agricultural items incurs severe penalties, including large fines and jail time. So leave fresh meats, produce, eggs, and dairy at home. Canned and shelf-stable versions of these foods are safer options to bring.

Allowed Processed and Packaged Meats

While fresh meat is prohibited, properly packaged processed meats can be brought to Egypt if declared upon arrival. Allowed items include:

  • Canned meats like corned beef or luncheon meat
  • Beef jerky or cured meat products
  • Packaged ham, bacon, salami, pepperoni
  • Canned fish like tuna, sardines, salmon
  • Dried or canned eggs
  • Processed cheeses in sealed packaging

Always keep meats in original factory packaging. Government guidelines suggest 3-5 kilograms total of meat per passenger is considered a reasonable personal supply.

Frozen meats are a bit more controversial. Technically frozen meats are processed and allowed. However, customs may view them as too similar to fresh meat, so it’s best not to attempt bringing frozen pork or other meats.


While processed pork can be imported, expect additional scrutiny. Egypt is a Muslim country where the consumption of pork is frowned upon. Be prepared to:

  • Declare all pork items to customs officials on arrival.

  • Answer questions about the purpose of importing pork products. State it is for personal consumption as a tourist.

  • Present pork in transparent packaging to easily identify it.

  • Limit quantities to 2-3kg total – don’t attempt to bring 10kg of bacon or 20 cans of ham.

As long as you are honest and follow protocol, bringing personal amounts of pork like bacon or ham into Egypt typically won’t pose problems. Nonetheless, be discreet and avoid flaunting pork in public once in the country. Also note that pork is not widely available for purchase within Egypt.

Hunting Trophies and Taxidermy Items

Hunters who want to transport hunting trophies or taxidermy animals into Egypt face greater hurdles. The government restricts these items to protect wildlife and prevent disease transmission. Hunters must apply for an import permit in advance from the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency with the following:

  • Detailed description of the animal trophies or remains
  • Certificate of origin confirming legality
  • Health certificate from veterinarian
  • Import license from CITES if endangered wildlife

Due to the complexity, most tourists avoid attempting to import hunting mementos and animal remains.

Can You Bring Meat in Your Checked Luggage?

Absolutely not! Never place any meat products in checked luggage when flying to Egypt. Temperatures in cargo holds often reach over 100°F which can cause meat to thaw or spoil. This poses both health hazards and risks confiscation at customs.

Only transport allowed meats in your carry-on baggage. This allows you to personally oversee temperature conditions and handle any questions from officials during baggage inspection and customs processing. With close supervision, your meat can stay chilled and safe.

Tips for Successfully Bringing Meat Through Egyptian Customs

To maximize chances of importing meat hassle-free, keep these tips in mind:

  • Know import laws and only bring permitted meats in proper packaging. Research prohibited items.

  • Limit overall meat quantities to 3-5 kg total. Declare amounts over this.

  • Separate meat into small quantities and distribute over a few bags.

  • Place meats in transparent, sealed packages or containers.

  • Expect pork to receive extra attention and have paperwork ready.

  • Keep meats chilled in a cooler bag with ice packs.

  • Always carry meats in your plane cabin – never check meat.

  • Be cooperative if questioned but stand your ground – you aren’t breaking laws.

  • Apply for advanced permissions if bringing hunting trophies.

  • Never attempt to obscure meats or hide them from customs inspection.

  • Be prepared to pay duty taxes on meat valued over your duty free allowance.

Are There Other Food Items Prohibited from Import to Egypt?

In addition to fresh meats and produce, some other food products have import restrictions or bans in Egypt. Prohibited food items include:

  • Absinthe – banned alcoholic spirit
  • Juice or jam containing hemp
  • Foods containing CBD oil or hempseed
  • Non-iodized salt
  • Poppy seeds
  • Wild game meats

Certain herbs, spices, and canned goods may also draw scrutiny to verify they don’t contain illegal substances. In general, stick to bringing common cooking ingredients and avoid controversial products.

Can You Buy Meat and Pork in Egypt?

While options are limited, pork and alcohol can be purchased in larger cities like Cairo and Alexandria at:

  • Large supermarket chains like Carrefour
  • Specialty import stores
  • Hotels and resorts
  • Some restaurants and nightclubs

However, outside main urban areas, pork will be unavailable. Beef, chicken, lamb, and fish are widely sold at markets everywhere.

If you plan to spend significant time in smaller towns, bringing some pork products from home allows you to have it on hand versus seeking it out on location.

Expert Tips for Stress-Free Travel with Meat

To ensure everything goes smoothly when carrying meat or pork into and around Egypt:

  • Pack meat in checked luggage on flights within Egypt – only carry-on when arriving from overseas.

  • Keep meat in insulated bags with ice packs if traveling overland by train or bus.

  • Research meat availability at your hotels or accommodations. Many ban cooking pork on site.

  • Consume pork discreetly in private spaces – avoid public areas.

  • Have a back-up plan to ship meat home or discard it if faced with issues.

  • Bring shelf-stable meat alternatives like tuna, peanut butter and protein bars in case access to pork proves difficult.

Can You Bring Meat Products Out of Egypt?

The regulations on exporting meat from Egypt are much stricter than those for entering. It is illegal to attempt to take fresh meats, dairy, eggs, or produce out of the country.

Cured meats like beef jerky are permitted for export in limited quantities only if you can prove they were imported initially. Expect close scrutiny and thorough baggage inspections when departing Egypt with any meat items.

For vacations in Egypt, consider your meat and pork needs carefully. With good planning and understanding of import laws, you can successfully bring canned, cured, and packaged meat products like ham and bacon through customs. But be sure to follow protocols for declaration and transportation. Ultimately the best practice is to research regulations, know your rights, cooperate fully, and gain any needed permissions. With the proper precautions, you can enjoy some familiar food from home during your Egyptian adventure.

Egypt Travel Nightmare!! Why I’ll Never Go Back!!

What can I bring to Egypt?

Bring drugs in reasonable quantities. Take the prescription. If the medication is narcotic, then contact the Embassy of the Republic of Egypt for comments. You are allowed to bring up to 1 liter of alcoholic beverages. The alcohol content does not matter. It can be either 1 liter of beer, or 1 liter of wine, or 1 liter of whiskey.

Should you bring a backpack in Egypt?

So even if you aren’t usually a backpacker, I highly recommend bringing a backpack in Egypt for ease of transport. Doing laundry is inexpensive anyway, so it’s easier to wash your clothes once or twice instead of bringing two weeks worth of clothing in a giant bag. Trust me on this one.

What currency can I bring into Egypt?

That way you are guaranteed to stay out of trouble. You can bring into Egypt any amount of cash and in any currency. However, it is required by law to declare amounts over 10,000 US dollars (or equivalent in other currencies at current exchange rates). We strongly recommend you to declare large amounts of currency.

What to eat and drink in Egypt?

Eating and drinking in Egypt will introduce most travelers to the native Egyptian foods of the country, many of which are already popular in Western countries. Common foods eaten by most Egyptians on a daily basis include things like pita bread, falafel, tahini and hummus, along with plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables.

Leave a Comment