Travelling with Cheese

Old Nov 25, 19, 9:49 am
  #1  
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Travelling with Cheese

Hi guys, I just wanted to know if anyone has experience travelling with Cheese? Im doing a LHR-NBO early December and i've travelled with Smoked Salmon and all sorts of other items in my Cool Bag as hand luggage on this flight but as its approaching Christmas and im spending my Christmas in Kenya so i would like all the home goodies. I already have a Fortnum and Mason Hamper i will put in my checked luggage but im not sure about the cheese. Has anyone travelled with Cheese in their carry on. I heard that it is classed as a liquid as it can melt? Is that all cheese or just the ones that could potentially liquify?? If anyone has put it in their checked luggage how did you do so? I know when you order online they come in these cool insulated boxes?

Also i'm flying from Terminal 3. Is there anywhere selling Cheese past security? I think i remember they sell caviar. I cant remember anywhere selling cheese usually i just go straight to the lounges
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Old Nov 25, 19, 9:59 am
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I've traveled intra-Europe with hard and soft cheeses in hand luggage without issues, but always UK-bound, not the other way around. Ice-packs in coolboxes are a no though.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 10:00 am
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Depends on the cheese.

I had softer cheeses (reblochon, gorgonzola) taken at security; harder cheese, not an issue.

To summarise, if it’s a hard cheese such as Parmigiano, manchego, pecorino shouldn’t be an issue. Soft, it will. Cheddar, I wouldn’t even bother

no clue on durability though. It’s a long flight...
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Old Nov 25, 19, 10:01 am
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Whenever I come back from France or Switzerland i will always bring cheese back, I have never had any issues, at all.

I also often take blue cheese to Singapore with me and for that I vacuum pack it at home and put it in a checked in cool bag with an ice pack so that it lasts the journey without getting affected by heat during any delays sitting in a hot place like Singapore or if I am transiting in Doha.

I am pretty sure Fortnum and Mason at LHR sells some cheeses in the fridges in the stores.

EDIT: just checked and https://boutique.heathrow.com/en/pro...d-stilton.html suggests that Fortnum and Mason will stock the potted stilton, that is possibly better for a long flight in hand luggage too as it has a tight wax seal inside.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 10:05 am
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It has been a while, but I have taken a Paxton and Whitfield waxed cheddar through as hand luggage with no problem. However, I gather that cheddar on the X ray has the same density as plastic explosive, so be prepared for a search of your bags. If you can check it, that would be easier.

From https://www.gov.uk/hand-luggage-restrictions about what you can and can't take through security:

Taking liquids through security

There are restrictions on the amount of liquids you can take in your hand luggage. If possible, pack liquids in your hold baggage (luggage that you check in).

Liquids include:
  • all drinks, including water
  • liquid or semi-liquid foods, for example soup, jam, honey and syrups
  • cosmetics and toiletries, including creams, lotions, oils, perfumes, mascara and lip gloss
  • sprays, including shaving foam, hairspray and spray deodorants
  • pastes, including toothpaste
  • gels, including hair and shower gel
  • contact lens solution
  • any other solutions and items of similar consistency
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Old Nov 25, 19, 10:18 am
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I witnessed a "cheese search" at Glasgow Airport a few months back.

A gentleman was attempting to take a number of different branded cheeses through security and his bag was searched. Soft cheese such as Boursin was confiscated, as were various brands of Cheese Spread and Cheese spread triangles.

Edam, Brie, and Cheddar slices all made it through. He had pretty poor taste in cheese but I did feel sorry for him.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 10:37 am
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I always bring back cheese to my parents in the US from where I live in Switzerland. Best practice is to carry it vacuum sealed in checked baggage. Most cheese survives just fine overnight without refrigeration in my hotel room when I position. I do pretty much stick to hard cheeses, and prepared fondue though.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 10:38 am
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I had a mixed selection of soft and hard cheeses all rejected at Luxembourg security a few years ago.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 10:40 am
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If you are going to transport cheese in checked baggage, please vacuum pack it.

If your baggage is mishandled, your cheese will be no good but at least it won't contaminate anything else as is sealed.

At most airports, mishandled baggage is outsourced to GHAs and their agents aren't normally allowed to open mishandled baggage unless in presence of relevant airlines' station manager.

In my experience BA station managers are very on top of any mishandled bags at their respective stations and check daily on how their mishandled bags are being dealt with. The same cannot be said for many other airlines who sometimes just ignore mishandled bags.

I have had the experience of employing baggage staff who had to regularly work in a baggage office with rotten fish in customers' waiting baggage as the respective airline station manager would not come and open the baggage and allow the fish to be removed.

If you are going to check food items, please make sure they won't contaminate other passengers' baggage nor potentially be a menace to ground staff.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 10:46 am
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We frequently ‘exported’ strong Cheddar to friends in the US with no problem. Always sealed in a ziplock bag in addition to original packaging, and then stowed in a cool bag in hold luggage. Always declared at US Customs, and never an eyebrow raised. Soft cheese is, I understand, a different issue.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 10:53 am
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Originally Posted by T8191 View Post
We frequently ‘exported’ strong Cheddar to friends in the US with no problem. Always sealed in a ziplock bag in addition to original packaging, and then stowed in a cool bag in hold luggage. Always declared at US Customs, and never an eyebrow raised. Soft cheese is, I understand, a different issue.
I think that the issue with the US is raw milk, one of my friends made that uncomfortable experience at EWR once. Believe it or not they actually have dogs trained to sniff that...
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Old Nov 25, 19, 11:05 am
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A little OT, but I visited a major Indian dairy a couple of years ago, after which trip an Indian colleague discovered the hard way at Ahmedabad airport that the large quantity of ghee he had bought in the staff shop is technically classed as an explosive and isn't permitted as hand luggage.

Cheese? Never had a problem, though common decency would seem to preclude carriage of unpasteurised camembert in the J cabin during the summer months, and likewise carriage of significant quanities of gorgonzola in checked luggage on tight connections in warmer climes would seem unwise.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 11:07 am
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I have had no problems at lhr with hard cheeses, however, i started taking them out my bag an putting them on the tray. That has stopped the 2ndary checks.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 11:28 am
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Bought 3 pieces of cheese at M&S yesterday at Heathrow yesterday, they went straight in my hand luggage and through security with not even thinking it would be a problem and it wasn't.
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Old Nov 25, 19, 11:54 am
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Originally Posted by alex67500 View Post
I think that the issue with the US is raw milk, one of my friends made that uncomfortable experience at EWR once. Believe it or not they actually have dogs trained to sniff that...
It depends. Somewhere on FT, I posted a link to the USDA rules. Surprisingly some raw milk cheeses are allowed. I think it comes down to if it's a runny raw milk cheese, like Vacherin Mont d'Or, it's out. But if it's a solid raw milk cheese like parmesan or Alp cheeses, you might be okay.

As always, YMMV, be sure to read the regulations before you try it. In any case, declare it.
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