Is this the story of the world’s most expensive McDonalds? A passenger travelling from Indonesia to Australia was charged $2664 (Australian Dollars) last week after carrying an undeclared McDonalds meal in their luggage.

Blue tray containing ham crossaint (far left), two open breakfast buns containing egg and sausage (left). Two pancakes (right).
The McDonalds meal found in the passenger’s luggage | © Australian Government

‘Undeclared’ Food Items Seized by Airport Security

The unnamed passenger carried two egg and beef McMuffins as well as a ham croissant on their flight from Bali to Darwin Airport, where the airport’s newly recruited detector dog sniffed out the smuggled meal. It was then confiscated by staff who deemed the items a risk of high biosecurity. This incident comes after recent warnings about the return of Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) to the country, and the encouragement for travellers to not bring back items such as meat or milk.

Woman in red shirt and cargo trousers standing besides black dog on leash. A large poster behind reads "Welcome to Darwin".
The McDonalds was discovered by the airport’s newest K9 recruit | © Australian Government

FMD is a highly contagious disease which causes hooved animals (such as sheep and cattle) to become severely unwell. Although it cannot be transmitted to humans, it has a massive impact on the livestock industry in which many Australians benefit and rely on. A break-out of FMD in Indonesia earlier this May and the opening of Australia’s borders has meant that an increase in biosecurity has had to be enforced in the country’s airports and mail centres.

The Severity of Biosecurity in Australia

In a statement made by Senator Murray Watt of Australia’s Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, he refers to the incident as “the most expensive Maccas meal this passenger ever has”, before re-emphasising the severity of the situation.

“Biosecurity is no joke – it helps protect jobs, our farms, food and supports the economy. Passengers who choose to travel need to make sure they are filling the conditions to enter Australia, by following all biosecurity measures.”

In the last month, procedures such as issuing sniffer dogs and sanitation foot-mats have been made alongside the $14 million dedicated towards improving the country’s biosecurity.

What are your thoughts on the lengths the Australian government are going to for biosecurity? Let us know in the comments below!

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