Egg McMuffins Cost Australian Traveler $1,800 in Fines

Air travel is already an expensive and frustrating proposition for many, as inflation, fuel prices, and greedy airline have all been driving up the cost of taking to the skies in recent years.

But one traveler in Australia has found a unique way to make traveling by plane even more expensive:  Accidentally smuggling Egg McMuffins in their luggage.

A handful of breakfast sandwiches cost one traveler more than their flight.

An Australian airport fined a traveler 2,664 Australian dollars, or $1,874, after authorities found McDonald’s breakfast sandwiches in their luggage, CNN reported on Monday, citing a press release from Australia’s minister for agriculture, fisheries, and forestry.

Australian authorities did not respond to a request for comment from Insider made outside of local working hours ahead of publication.

The press release — also cited in local news reports — said a biosecurity-detector dog at Darwin International Airport last week identified two egg-and-sausage McMuffins and a ham croissant in the luggage of a passenger on a trip from Bali. The agriculture minister, Murray Watt, said the food was confiscated, inspected, and destroyed.

Why exactly where these breakfast sandwiches such a big deal?

In late July, Australian authorities tightened security measures to address an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease in Bali.

Australian authorities have said the virus can be carried on people’s clothing and in foods. The disease does not affect people but would pose a risk to livestock including cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs.

CNN’s report mentioned that experts have estimated that an outbreak in Australia could cost its economy $80 billion. On July 22, the nation instituted a penalty for travelers who fail to declare dairy and meat products.

The outbreak has been so worrisome that Australia has invested nearly $10 million to beef up their “biosecurity” at airports, hoping to prevent any further spread of the disease.