How Officials Locate and Destroy Illicit Foods and Plants That Are Brought in Through JFK Airport

Business Insider producer Abby Narishkin visited with Customs and Border Patrol agents who are tasked with locating and destroying illicit items that are brought into the United States through John F. Kennedy Airport in Queens, New York. While drugs are always a priority, these officers actually see far more contraband in the form of agricultural items, such as fruits, vegetables, and plants, that cannot be allowed.

Specially trained food sniffing dogs locate the prohibited items. Once removed from the suitcase, an officer named Ginger Perrone examines the item for disease and/or insect growth before sending them down into a giant food grinder she calls the “Muffin Monster”. This grinder helps to prevent harm from coming to native plants and crops.

At NYC’s John F. Kennedy Airport, 1,000 bags an hour are checked for narcotics and illicit food. Customs and Border Patrol officials are tasked with stopping these goods from entering the United States. …120 pounds of foods are ground up each day from arriving international passengers. Avocados, mangos, and citrus are among the most common fruits that end up in the grinder.

via The Awesomer

Lori Dorn
Lori Dorn

Lori is a Laughing Squid Contributing Editor based in New York City who has been writing blog posts for over a decade. She also enjoys making jewelry, playing guitar, taking photos and mixing craft cocktails.