A day at our Imported Food Office, Heathrow Airport

Ever wondered what happens when food enters the UK via Heathrow Airport?

Here’s a short video showcasing a day in the life of what happens at Hillingdon Council’s Imported Food Office based at Heathrow Airport.

As a port authority, the council is responsible for checking cargo before it enters the UK, ensuring items are safe, legal and comply with UK public and animal health standards.

Every day, the team inspects thousands of items that come through Heathrow Airport. Over the past 3 years, they have discovered more than 300 illegally introduced consignments and stopped more than 150 tonnes of food from entering the UK. This includes illegal bushmeat such as smoked chimpanzee, bats and elephant feet.

With the help of partners and other local authorities, they have also uncovered a number of unregistered food businesses in London and other UK cities.

Recently, officers inspected a consignment from Ghana that was full of illegal bushmeat, raw meat, live African land snails, milk powder products, dried fish and more. They have now been destroyed at a cost of £1,648 to the importer.