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Woman Fined S$2,542 ’Cos She Didn’t Declare A Half-Eaten Subway Sandwich She’d Brought On A Flight From S’pore To Australia

Guess what the folks at Subway in Australia did in response.  

A woman was fined A$2,664 (S$2,542) by Australian authorities for breaching the country’s strict biosecurity laws, after she failed to declare a half-eaten Subway sandwich that she had with her on her flight from Singapore to Australia.

Jessica Lee, an Australian woman who was travelling from Europe to Perth with a stopover in Singapore, had bought a foot-long Subway sandwich at Changi Airport. “I basically just paid $2,600 for my Subway,” she quipped in a TikTok video on Jul 1 that has since gone viral.

Jessica and her partner were in Singapore for a short stopover after an 11-hour flight from Europe. During that time, she bought a foot-long sandwich from Subway, ate half of it, and planned to eat the rest on the four-hour flight from Singapore to Perth. However, she didn’t eat the sandwich and left it in her carry-on bag.

At the Perth airport, the couple were in the midst of declaring cigars that her partner had brought back when they had their bags checked by biosecurity officers. That was when they discovered the half-eaten sandwich. She was later issued a fine of A$2,664, which she shows in the TikTok video. 

A spokesperson from the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry in Australia told that travellers are legally required to declare on the immigration declaration card food items that are brought into the country.

According to the spokesperson: “All airlines play mandatory biosecurity messaging (video/audio) in flight at top of descent (just prior to landing – not mid-flight when passengers might be sleeping) highlighting things of biosecurity risk, and the need to declare food and ingredients, and to leave all food on-board.” 

Tired from travelling for almost 24 hours, Jessica did not realise that she had to declare the half-eaten sandwich in her bag.

“I thought the little declarations [form] was for your carry-ons and luggage. So I didn’t tick chicken and lettuce. Chicken and lettuce!” quipped Jessica, who fully admitted her oversight.  

 “It literally didn’t occur to me that my Subway had chicken and lettuce in it, which is fresh produce,” she said in a follow-up TikTok.

The comments have been coming in fast and furious on the viral videos, with some netizens even suggesting she set up a crowdfunding page to help pay her fine. However, Jessica responded saying that she would not be doing that as it was her own mistake.

Others chimed in with similar encounters of their own. “[Twenty years ago] I was fined $500 for not declaring chicken’s essence, which was classed as food, which we drink in Singapore,” said a netizen.

In response to the viral videos, Subway Australia reached out to Jessica and gifted her a gift card with a value of — you guessed it — A$2,664. “We hope this covers all your chicken and lettuce needs,” read an accompanying card.

“Subway, you have outdone yourself!” Jessica chuckled, as she tried on the Subway swag that they’d sent along with the gift card.

Not sure what you can or cannot bring in to Australia? The Australian Border Force website lays it all out for you here

Photos: TikTok/@_jessicaleeee, Facebook/Subway Singapore

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