Hogan the beagle found me out.

That sweet, but stealthy, airport security dog easily sniffed out the contraband in my carry-on bag as I was waiting at the luggage carousel before heading through customs at New York's JFK. He signaled his find by sitting down beside my bag.

What was up? I didn’t know it, but the delicious, vacuum-sealed salami that I’d bought the previous day on a food tour of Athens could not be brought into the United States for fear of bringing animal disease. “You should have known better,” the Customs officer chided me. He let me go with a warning but could have fined me over $1,000, he explained.

Honestly, I didn’t realize I was doing anything wrong. He also confiscated the apple I’d forgotten I had, which I would have eaten on the plane, anyway. Most fresh fruits also are forbidden. It’s so tempting overseas these days to bring back food (cheese! olive oil! spices!) and liquor--Havana Club rum from Cuba, single malt whiskey from Scotland, wine from Italy and France.

They can be a bargain, after all, assuming you have room in your luggage without it being overweight. But as I learned the hard way, it’s important to be mindful of the rules. Most important, you must declare all food products first. Failure to do so can result in up to $10,000 in fines and penalties, according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The types of banned items change based on current diseases or outbreaks, which is why you must declare all agricultural products. The website www.dontpackapest.com lets you quickly search to see if a specific item is permitted from any country.

You can bring things like food items that don’t contain meat products -- German mustard, for example or olive oil, as well as balsamic vinegar, baked goods, candy, chocolate, packaged spices and certain kinds of cheeses.

But here are 10 potential souvenirs you're better off leaving behind or enjoying before you board: