The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is hoping to enlist travel agents in a new campaign that aims to stop travellers bringing back illegal food stuffs from their holidays.

The Don’t Bring Me Back campaign is being launched after an online survey of 2,000 UK consumers last month revealed 55% of them would like their travel agent or tour rep to advise them on which foods they are banned from bringing back to the UK.

Banned products range from certain meat and dairy products, to some vegetables and honey. Last year, 85 tonnes of illegal animal products were seized by customs officers.

Travel Weekly columnist Simon Calder backs the campaign, saying: “It’s worrying that many people returning home from holiday are unaware of the EU rules on bringing food into the UK from countries outside the EU, and the reasons behind them.

“I’d like to see the UK travel industry working together to ensure travellers are aware of the rules about importing food. It would be good, for instance, if you got a reminder when you first book your ticket to some distant horizon.

“There’s quite enough stress in travel already without adding to your problems by bringing back something illegal, which will earn you the attention of Border Force Officers and possible prosecution.

“One minute spent checking the Don’t Bring Me Back website can ensure you don’t inadvertently break the law, and can save hours of hassle on arrival back in the UK.”