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Stephen Jardine: Overseas fare better than beans

Its up to the authorities to halt food smuggling and force us to be more adventurous when eating abroad. Picture: PA

Its up to the authorities to halt food smuggling and force us to be more adventurous when eating abroad. Picture: PA

THE next time you are passing through airport security, take a good hard look at your fellow passengers.

The new security precautions introduced this week mean we must be ready to fire up laptops and smart phones to prove we’re not international terrorists. Meanwhile the real lunatic extremists are passing among us, seemingly untroubled by bag X-rays.

I’m talking about the 60 per cent of UK travellers who confess to taking food with them when they go abroad. Yes, the majority of the people are nuts. How else can you explain taking things to eat from here to countries probably famed for their food ?

The most popular item taken overseas was baked beans, the choice of 37 per cent of the population. But at least something in a tin will travel well, unlike chocolate which came in a close second. Behind that in third place on our shopping list of shame is bacon. If you are so worried about the effect of foreign food on your digestion that you prefer to trust bacon that has been in a hot suitcase in the hold of a plane for five hours, you really deserve the three days of hell on the toilet that lie ahead.

The survey asked people why they choose to pack salad cream and the most common response was because “equivalents abroad aren’t as good”.

I bet the great chocolatiers of Switzerland and Belgium are quaking knowing they can never hold a candle to the delights of Fry’s Chocolate Cream.

More than half of those questioned for the survey said they weren’t aware of rules restricting transporting food abroad but that still leaves nearly half who did realise there are laws but are happy to break them for the sake of a campylobacter bacon sandwich.

What the heck are these people so worried about? “Three hours in a country has got to be a new record for getting food poisoning” was the message sent by friend Marc last week at the start of his Spanish holiday. Twenty-four hours later he was in rapture on Twitter about the delights of squid ink risotto. That’s the spirit.

As millions head off on holiday over the next few weeks, for anyone with any sense, eating out and enjoying new things is surely a huge part of the experience. On the odd occasion, it might end badly but so does water-skiing or doing the Macarena after two pints of sangria. That doesn’t mean you should avoid sport or dancing on holiday at any cost. So it’s up to the authorities to halt food smuggling and force us to be more adventurous when eating abroad. If they can detect explosives in our electronic goods, surely spotting bacon, beans and chocolate can’t be that hard.

Alternatively they can just empty the bags of anyone spotted in Gregg’s at Glasgow Airport. Anyone who can’t even get that far without a Steak Bake probably has a well-stocked delicatessen in their luggage.

 

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