BEIJING (Reuters) - China told its people on Thursday not to take mooncakes containing egg yolk or meat to Australia because of the threat of bird flu and other diseases.
The Foreign Ministry reminded people heading to Australia for the Sept. 25 Mid-Autumn Festival of strict quarantine laws which prohibit the import of a wide range of food for fear of diseases such as bird flu, Newcastle disease and foot and mouth.
The strict quarantine laws carry fines of up to $49,000 and 10 years’ jail for failure to declare banned foods.
“The bans are necessary to protect Australia’s high animal, plant and human health standards from exotic pests and guard lucrative overseas export products,” the government said.
Mooncakes, a sweet, pastry with a bean or nut base and an acquired taste for many in the West, are a traditional treat for Chinese around the world during the Mid-Autumn, or Moon, Festival.