When traveling to Israel, visa rules differ depending on the country of origin. Foreign governments often issue travel warnings about Israel due to violent conflict in the region. Beyond all of this, it is necessary to pay attention to customs rules and regulations as would be the case with any other nation. Israel has a few restrictions on traveling into the country with foreign food.

Arriving in Israel

Upon landing in Israel there will be two lines at customs and immigration: a green line and a red line. The green line is for passengers with nothing to declare and the red line is for those arrivals with items requiring inspection.

Green Line: Permitted Amounts

It is allowed to line up in the green line if carrying food, so long as there is not more than 3 kg (6.6 lbs.) of food total, and each items weighs less than 1 kg (2.2 lbs.). It is important to note that this rule applies to all permitted food items. If there is more than this amount, or if it is not sure if the items are permitted, make sure to line up in the red line.

Prohibited Items

Israel prohibits entry with any meat products — as do most countries — or any dairy products. Banana and pineapples are completely restricted, though other fruits and vegetable are allowed unless they have originated in Africa.

Red Line

Make sure to line up in the red line when arriving if there are any doubts about the items that are being carried or if there is more than the allowed amount. Visitors may be either asked to pay an import tax on items or a customs officer may ask to throw them out completely. It is allowed to bring permitted food items that are personal gifts, but the total value of everything that is being brought into Israel – food and otherwise – must be less than $200.

Food in Israel

While it may be tempting to try and bring dairy or meat products into the country, according to the International Association for Medical Assistance to Travellers, dairy products in Israel are safe to eat and drink, including milk, butter, cheese, yogurt and ice cream, so there is no reason to bring a personal stock to the country. Likewise, local meat, poultry, seafood and fruit and vegetables have been deemed healthy, so do not risk bringing in foreign items.