Now that’s a hot tamale

| 6/15/2007

U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers seized one-and-a-half tons of undeclared Mexican white cheese and a half-ton of frozen pork from a Mexican truck pulling a reefer into the U.S. through the border crossing at Pharr, TX.

On Monday, border patrol agents stopped the truck during a routine examination at the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge.

According to a U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release, the officers used an imaging system to inspect the trailer and noticed “anomalies” in the load’s packaging, which included legally shipped sour cream, cheese spread and corn husks.

Further inspection by border agents, agricultural specialists and FDA officers showed 3,033 pounds of cheese and 1,065 pounds of pork.

Commercial cheese quantities are allowed to be imported into the U.S. if the products are properly declared, but raw or frozen pork is prohibited, the release stated.

David Higgerson, CBP port director at the Hidalgo/Pharr Port of Entry, gave credit to truck inspectors.

“Their perseverance helps prevent the potential spread of diseases and bacteria that are often carried in these food products to the U.S. population,” Higgerson said in the press release.

Authorities didn’t release the name of the driver or the company he worked for, but said the company faces a $7,000 fine.