Passenger fined over undeclared McMuffins in luggage

1 August 2022
  • Pork and beef products sniffed out by Darwin’s new detector dog Zinta 
  • Passenger arrived at Darwin airport with a range of undeclared risk products
  • The passenger was issued a $2664 infringement notice

Darwin’s new biosecurity detector dog Zinta has uncovered undeclared meat on a passenger arriving from Indonesia. 

Detector dog Zinta responded to a passenger’s backpack and after further inspection it was found they were carrying a variety of risk items including two egg and beef sausage McMuffins from McDonalds in Bali and a ham croissant.  

The seized meat products will be tested for foot and mouth disease (FMD) before they are destroyed.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said Zinta sniffed out the significant biosecurity breach last week and the returning passenger has been issued with a $2664 infringement notice. 

“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 Watt said.

“Australia is FMD-free, and we want it to stay that way.

“Zinta was placed at Darwin Airport as part of the Albanese Government’s tough new biosecurity defences, and it’s excellent to see she is already contributing to keeping the country safe.

“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 fulfilling the conditions to enter Australia, by following all biosecurity measures.”

The passenger was issued a 12-unit infringement notice for failing to declare potential high biosecurity risk items and providing a false and misleading document. 

Last month the Albanese Government announced a new $14 million biosecurity package to deliver more frontline defences in mail centres and airports. The government has also rolled out biosecurity dogs at Darwin and Cairns airports, sanitation foot mats at all international airports, along with support on the ground for Indonesia and neighbouring countries.

Photos of Zinta the Darwin detection dog and the undeclared food are available here.