Miami Customs Office Inspects Imported Flowers For Valentine's Day

Customs will inspect 84 percent of cut flowers being imported to the U.S.

The U.S. Customs and Border Protection was inspecting imported flowers Friday in Miami just before Valentine's Day as part of an annual effort to prevent insects and diseases from coming into the country.

From Jan. 1 to Feb. 14 agriculture specialists are processing the flowers and bouquets to thwart insects and diseases which may pose a danger to industries, customs officials said.

If anything harmful is found, workers can have it returned, destroyed or have the shipment fumigated, the Miami Herald reported.

Officials found 3,404 pests last year, half of which were found in Miami, according to the Herald. The shipments mostly come from grower countries like Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico and the Netherlands.

Last year Miami International Airport processed about 673 million stems during the same period.

The flowers are kept in giant 57-degree refrigerated cargo centers while they are inspected. There are 23 of the centers within a five mile radius of MIA.

This year 84 percent of flowers imported to the U.S. will be examined.

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