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EU officials are seizing contraband ham sandwiches at the border

Sad news for lunch lovers, people travelling from the UK are no longer allowed to bring meat and dairy into the EU, according to new post-Brexit rules.

In Dutch TV news footage aired this week, customs officers have been spotted confiscating ham sandwiches from drivers arriving from the UK.

This new ruling follows from an EU ban of any meat and dairy product imported from the United Kingdom, thanks to a new Brexit agreement.

Photo: Sander Koning/ANP/AFP via Getty Images

In the footage, officials, dressed in high vis, are seen explaining to a shocked lorry and car driver at the Hook of Holland Ferry terminal why they can’t bring in their lunch. “You are no longer allowed to bring certain foods to Europe, like meat, fruit, vegetables, fish, that kind of stuff,” they explain.

One of the drivers, who had several wrapped sandwiches, asked the officials if he could still keep the bread, to which one of the officers replied: “No, everything will be confiscated. Welcome to the Brexit, sir, I’m sorry.”

The ban came into effect on New Year’s Day, just after the Brexit transition ended. The Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra) ruled that travellers need to“use, consume, or dispose of” prohibited items at or before the border.

“From 1 January 2021 you will not be able to bring POAO (products of an animal origin) such as those containing meat or dairy (eg a ham and cheese sandwich) into the EU,” the commercial driver Defra guide states.

Dutch customs posted a photo of the sangas alongside other confiscated food from the ferry terminal, captioned: “Since 1 January, you can’t just bring more food from the UK.”

According to the EU commission, the ban is necessary because meat and dairy can contain harmful pathogens that cause diseases, such as swine flu and foot-and-mouth disease.

“So prepare yourself if you travel to the Netherlands from the UK and spread the word. This is how we prevent food waste and together ensure that the controls are speeded up,” the Dutch custom officials added.