Hundreds of tamales were "seized and destroyed" at Los Angeles International Airport after agents discovered that they contained pork.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agriculture specialists found 450 wrapped tamales inside the luggage of a passenger entering the country from Mexico on Nov. 8, according to a Wednesday press release.
The transportation of pork products across international borders is prohibited by the U.S. government in order to prevent the spread of disease.
The traveler attempting to transport the tamales indicated on customs forms that food was being brought into the country, but reportedly gave a negative verbal response when asked if the food contained pork.
The passenger was slapped with a $1,000 fine for commercial activity with the intent to distribute.
"Although tamales are a popular holiday tradition, foreign meat products can carry serious animal diseases from countries affected by outbreaks of Avian Influenza, Mad Cow and Swine Fever," said Anne Maricich, CBP Acting Director of Field Operations in Los Angeles, said in the release.
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