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A Traveler Was Fined $1,874 For Not Declaring a McDonald's Egg McMuffin in Australia Eggs, ham, and a couple grand.

By Gabrielle Bienasz

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Courtesy of Australian Government

Sometimes an egg sandwich at the wrong time will cost you.

That was the case for a traveler who was fined about $1,874 USD when he did not declare his egg and sausage McMuffins while traveling from Bali to Australia, according to Fox Business.

The bag also included a ham croissant and "a variety of risk items," according to an Australian government press release. The traveler has not been identified.

In early July, Australia boosted inspections of several items, including biological materials, after an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) in Bali, per ABC News in Australia.

FMD is a highly-contagious disease that infects livestock such as cows, sheep, goats, and pigs – any animal with divided hooves, according to the USDA. (It does not impact dogs, cats, and horses.)

"It can spread quickly and cause significant economic losses," the agency added.

FMD can be distributed by contaminated clothes, improperly cooked food, or other "biologic products" — hence the reaction to the illicit McMuffin pair.

"This will be the most expensive Maccas meal this passenger ever has, this fine is twice the cost of an airfare to Bali, but I have no sympathy for people who choose to disobey Australia's strict biosecurity measures, and recent detections show you will be caught," Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said in the statement.

The Australian government's statement added a dog named Zinta sniffed out the meat, which led to an inspection of the bag, and a fine for "failing to declare potential high biosecurity risk items and providing a false and misleading document."

Image credit: Courtesy of Australian Government

Earlier this month, a woman flying from Greece to Perth, Australia, was fined around $1,844 for not declaring her Subway sandwich on her customs form and for bringing it into the country, according to the Washington Post. She went viral on TikTok, and Subway company ended up sending her a box of products, (but did not pay the fine) according to the outlet.

McDonald's did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it had such plans.

FMD can also cause emotional distress — and economic. One woman, Kim Lane, told ABC News in Australia she would never forget the smell of livestock all over the UK being burned during an outbreak in the 2000s, or how sad it was for farmers.

"Probably the worst part was … the human factor. Just seeing on TV [farmers] breaking down when some of them found out they had to then cull their whole herd."

As Watt said in the statement, "Biosecurity is no joke."

Gabrielle Bienasz is a staff writer at Entrepreneur. She previously worked at Insider and Inc. Magazine. 

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