Am I allowed to take food items (specifically: porridge, rice, pasta, cereal bars, nuts, chocolate, nutella, golden syrup, regular butter, and peanut butter) on my flight with me if they are stored in my hold luggage. That is, I will not be taking them in the cabin with me. I'm fairly certain about the solids, but the nuttella, syrup, and peanut butter I'm not to sure about.

If it makes a difference I will be going from the UK to Switzerland (in July)

Thanks for any help

  • Related post Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 12:38
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    @usr-local-ΕΨΗΕΛΩΝ Doesn't seem related at all. That post is entirely about cabin baggage. It's not even that any of the answers says "It'd be fine in checked baggage." Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 18:01
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    Welcome! From UK to Switzerland you can take foods, I have not referenced it, so I'm leaving it as a comment, but I've seen each of those three items transported through Europe and as checked luggage you are more than fine. However: you do know you can get these in Switzerland and elsewhere very easily if you want to lighten the load :)
    – Mikey
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 19:30
  • When I flew in the US, I got hold for 45 minutes at customs because I had two bananas in my hold luggage (they ended up confiscating those delicious bananas). Switzerland is not the US, but you should eat the best of your food before you land. ;)
    – Shan-x
    Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 15:56

2 Answers 2


Most foods can be brought in checked luggage without issues. In hand luggage, you must expect semi-liquid or pasty foods (like you mention: nutella, syrup, butter and peanut butter) to be rejected.

Going to Switzerland, you will however have more issues with the relatively strict Swiss customs regulations. For some products you have only a limited duty free allowance. Milk derivatives containing more than 15% fat (this includes butter) are e.g. limited to 1kg per person. If you exceed the allowance, you will have to pay CHF 16/kg duty. Products of animal origin (and I suppose that includes butter) may only be imported from EU countries or Norway. If the UK should leave the EU on March 29th, it may have impact on what you are allowed to bring to Switzerland.

You can find more details about Swiss restrictions on food, alcohol and tobacco here.

  • 36
    I always like to carry a kilo of butter with me on holiday.
    – Strawberry
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 12:18
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    @Strawberry, I've already traveled with over 1kg of cheese for the holidays.
    – everyone
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 13:31
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    @Strawberry I was actually rejected with several kilo butter in my hand luggage at the security checkpoint at the airport in Munich when I tried to rescue my grandmother's christmas cookies during the Norwegian butter crisis in 2011: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norwegian_butter_crisis Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 13:56
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    @Strawberry I always like to carry a kilo of strawberries on holiday ...
    – Glorfindel
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 15:53
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    @Glorfindel I always like to carry a kilo of glorfindels on holiday... Er, wait. Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 18:02

You're allowed to take most foods in checked luggage, as long as they don't require special handling (e.g., being kept cold) and won't go off horribly if your baggage is delayed.

However, many countries have restrictions on what foods can be imported. Items that are typically restricted are things like fresh fruit and veg, meat (fresh or even cooked, in many cases) and dairy. As such, the butter may be a problem: you should check what can be imported to Switzerland, and you'll probably need to wait until after Brexit happens to know what the actual rules are. (EEA/EFTA countries tend to be more permissive about food crossing their borders from the rest of the EEA, and the UK won't be in that by the time you're travelling.)

Having said all of that, you should consider whether you really need to bring all this stuff with you. Things like butter and pasta can easily be bought when you get there and, while Switzerland is quite an expensive place, it's not that expensive. If you can afford to buy a plane ticket to Switzerland, you can afford to spend a couple more pounds on groceries while you're there than you would at home.

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    As swiss resident, I can only second the last paragraph. All your mentioned items are available in any supermarket. Check for prices online, it this helps. The chains "Coop" and "Migros" for example are available even in most smaller villages. E.g. produkte.migros.ch/m-classic-erdnussbutter-crunchy
    – Marcel
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 12:24
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    Addition: prices for groceries in Switzerland are in most cases about the same as in UK
    – NicolasB
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 15:09
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    While in general bringing groceries on a plane trip seems excessive, there are some cases where it makes sense: (1) I always bring some "hiking food" (i.e. nuts, dried fruit) especially if I'm arriving at a late hour and not sure I'll be able to buy food when I arrive at my destination (or just have a very full schedule planned) (2) it sounds like the OP plans to bake a special item and doesn't want to worry about finding exact local substitutes for ingredients (3) when traveling with fussy children it helps to be prepared.
    – arp
    Commented Feb 4, 2019 at 17:24
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    Assuming you are flying into Zurich, you can easily buy nearly all those items at either the Migros (big) or Coop (not that big) right at the airport. At normal, and not convenience store, prices. Knorr Haferflocken (oatmeal) cheaper than the Alchemy brand in Tesco. Not sure about "golden syrup". Peanet butter probably available, just never looked. Swiss dairy products really very good, though UK's good as well. Swiss chocolate also great though I like the Cadburys better sometimes as well. I imagine nearly everything you need is there before you get on the train. Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 15:43
  • @Lobachevsky Golden syrup is pretty much a British thing, I think. It's a viscous sugar syrup that's... golden in colour. Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 16:23

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