Mooncakes could pose a biosecurity risk to Australia: Minister of Agriculture

Australian biosecurity officials are checking for mooncakes and other gifts from abroad regarding biosecurity concerns as the Mid-Autumn Festival approaches.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud to Importers and Consumers Biosecurity rules Before confirming the gift order. Fact sheets are also available in Chinese and Vietnamese.

“Australia has strict biosecurity requirements to prevent the risk of pests and diseases that could affect the agricultural industry and the environment from being transmitted to products.” Little Proud said.. “Before and during the Mid-Autumn Festival, some potentially dangerous items are more likely to be sent here.”

All meat-stuffed mooncakes, especially pork, are not allowed to be brought into Australia due to the risk of carrying African swine fever, which would devastate the domestic pork industry if introduced.

Stuffed with fresh fruits and vegetables such as pomelo, star fruit and taro also pose a biosecurity risk to local agriculture.

“Plant products such as fresh fruits and vegetables can cause diseases such as exotic pests and citrus ulcers in Australia,” says Littleproud.

Meishin's moon cake.  (Sami Love Aou / Epoch Times)
Meishin’s moon cake. (Sami Love Aou / Epoch Times)

All gifts, including mooncakes that do not comply with Australia’s strict biosecurity laws, will be destroyed or exported abroad.

“You can avoid disappointment and delays by letting your friends and family know that you are not allowed to enter Australia,” said Little Proud.

Commercially prepared and packaged mooncakes stuffed with egg yolk or chocolate are domestically permitted but must be declared.

Epoch Times Photo
The Mid-Autumn Festival is an important opportunity for families to get together to see the bright moon and enjoy mooncakes. It has a history of more than 3000 years, dating back to the worship of the moon in the ancient Shang dynasty. (Jane Ku / Epoch Times)

The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, is one of the most important traditional holidays celebrated by many Asian communities around the world.

It is related to the ancient legend about the story of the moon woman, Chang’e.

It is celebrated every year on the 15th of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. This year is September 21st.

Families get together to enjoy a feast, enjoy colorful lanterns of various shapes and sizes, and watch the full moon.

Friends and family also give each other mooncakes. This is the most typical holiday-related gift.

The most common mooncake stuffing includes lotus seed paste or azuki bean paste with salted egg yolk, but mooncakes are offered in a variety of stuffing to suit the taste of the consumer.

Rebecca Chu