Sure, eggs are scarce but don’t smuggle them across the border

By Natallie Rocha | The San Diego Union-Tribune

The egg shortage in the United States has led to an increase in people smuggling raw eggs and poultry across the border, says U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Across the United States, egg supply is down and prices are up because of an outbreak of avian flu that has plagued the country since last February. More than 57 million birds have been affected by avian flu across the country, says data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Customs and Border Protection points to the rising prices of eggs as a reason for the spike in confiscated poultry at the border. Nationally, egg prices are up 60 percent in a year, data from the Bureau of Labor and Statistics shows.

“There has been a large increase in the volume of prohibited food items, such as raw eggs and raw poultry meat, brought by travelers from Mexico,” said Jennifer De La O, U.S. Customs and Border Protection director of field operations in San Diego. “We would like to remind the traveling public that federal agricultural regulations remain in effect.”

The agency said raw eggs and poultry brought from Mexico will be confiscated at the border.

While it may seem cheaper to buy eggs in Mexico — a dozen in San Diego can cost $7 at the grocery store — the agency reminded the public that it is illegal to bring raw poultry across the U.S. border. It also can carry steep fines.

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De La O tweeted on Jan. 17, that “Failure to declare agriculture items can result in penalties of up to $10,000.” The agency encourages travelers to declare all agricultural items to an officer upon arrival to avoid penalties.

This story originally appeared in San Diego Union-Tribune.

©2023 The San Diego Union-Tribune. Visit sandiegouniontribune.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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