(The Center Square) — The United States Customs and Border Protection is asking Americans to stop trying to smuggle in raw eggs from Mexico.
As avian flu is causing the price of eggs and poultry to rise, along with the current inflation rate, people are purchasing the products in Mexico instead of shelling out the extra cash at the grocery store.
“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. We would like to remind the traveling public that federal agricultural regulations remain in effect,” Jennifer De La O, CBP Director of Field Operations in San Diego, said in a news release on Jan. 20.
In a separate tweet, De La O said that people could face up to a $10,000 fine if they take a crack at illegally smuggling the items.
The San Diego Field Office has recently noticed an increase in the number of eggs intercepted at our ports of entry. As a reminder, uncooked eggs are prohibited entry from Mexico into the U.S. Failure to declare agriculture items can result in penalties of up to $10,000. pic.twitter.com/ukMUvyKDmL
— Director of Field Operations Jennifer De La O (@DFOSanDiegoCA) January 18, 2023
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that over 57 million birds have died from the illness, according to the news release.
The news release reminds people that agricultural items should be declared when crossing the southern border at a port of entry, but that Mexican raw eggs and poultry are not allowed and “will be confiscated at the port.”
As of December, egg prices have increased 60% in the U.S. compared to December 2021, the Consumer Price Index determined.
Confiscations have reportedly increased by 300% since last month, according to KENS 5.