Over 21,200 illegal personal food items, such as meat and dairy products, from non-EU countries were seized by UK enforcement agencies last year under EU rules intended to protect against exotic pests and diseases.
Food minister Jim Paice said: "Most people bring back these items for a 'taste of home', but they could be bringing back disease. We need to make sure we protect our crops and livestock, as well as people's health which is why we've been working to raise awareness and dispel myths about personal food imports rules."
He added: "Most of these foods can now be purchased in British markets and shops."
Enforcement agencies seized more illegal dairy products (up 45%) and illegal meat products (up 14%), according to the annual review of controls on imports of animal products.