03/12/2015 05:00 EDT | Updated 05/11/2015 05:59 EDT

Avian flu concerns prompts ban of some poultry imports

Canadian cross-border shoppers are being warned to watch what they put in their grocery basket, after the federal government issued a ban on raw poultry products and live birds from six American states due to concerns over avian flu.

The restriction extends to any poultry products or by-products that are not fully cooked, including eggs and raw pet foods if they were sourced, processed or packaged in, or shipped from Minnesota, Missouri, California, Idaho, Oregon or Washington. 

Canadians returning from the U.S. are prohibited from bringing these items into Canada.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has issued the restrictions to protect Canadian poultry from an outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza in poultry populations in those states.

Examples of items under the restriction include:

- Live birds and hatching eggs.

- Eggs.

- Yolks.

- Egg whites (albumen).

- Poultry meat (other than fully cooked, canned, commercially sterile meat products).

- Raw pet foods containing poultry products.

- Feathers.

- Poultry manure and litter.

- Laboratory material containing poultry products/by-products.

Live pet birds may be brought into Canada with official certification from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS).

Commercial imports of live poultry, birds and raw or untreated avian products are restricted from the specific quarantine zones within the six states until further notice.

The Canadian Border Services Agency is reminding vacationers heading south for March Break that people returning to Canada after being out of the country for at least 24 hours are exempt from paying duties and taxes on up to $200 of goods purchased abroad.

The exemption limit for those returning after at least 48 hours abroad is $800.

There are no duty and tax exemptions for out-of-country trips of less than 24 hours.