McDonald's McMuffins Cost Customer Over $1,800 in Fines While Traveling

A traveler was fined about $1,800 last week for trying to pack three McDonald's breakfast sandwiches in their bag. According to a report by CTV News, the unnamed person was traveling from Bali, Indonesia into Australia, and they must have been concerned that they wouldn't be able to find a decent breakfast sandwich there. The undeclared food could have been a public health risk if it had not been caught.

"This will be the most expensive Maccas meal this passenger ever has," said Murray Watt, minister for agriculture, fisheries and forestry in a statement from the Australian government. The passenger arrived in the country at Darwin Airport in the Northern Territory, where their stash was discovered. They had hidden two egg and beef sausage McMuffins in a backpack they were traveling with, along with a ham croissant. Airport staff found a "range of undeclared risk products," including these sandwiches were found in the bag, but it was not clear if it was their carry-on or a checked bag.

"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," Murray said. This incident came as Australian authorities were buckling down on biosecurity rules due to an outbreak of Foot and Mouth disease in Indonesia. Due to the heavy traffic between Australia and Bali, authorities were especially vigilant.

The fine cost a total of 2,664 Australian dollars (AUD), which is equivalent to $1,854.98 USD at the time of this writing. The sandwiches themselves will reportedly be tested for Foot and Mouth Disease before being destroyed. The fine was issued for "a 12-unit infringement notice for failing to declare potential high biosecurity risk items and providing a false and misleading document."

"Australia is FMD-free, and we want it to stay that way," Watt said. "Travellers arriving from Indonesia will be under much stricter biosecurity scrutiny due to the presence of Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) in Indonesia."

FMD is relatively harmless to most humans, but it can wreak havoc on livestock populations. It could also have a serious impact on Australia's economy. Experts say it could cost the country about $80 million in seasonal tourism profits if an outbreak reaches its shores. The cost of agriculture delays and livestock deaths would add even more.