According to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) it’s important to think about how you’ll travel and transport food when visiting family or friends during the holiday period.
As an advocate of traveling with only carry-on luggage. It means you have less stuff to lug around, you avoid having to pay baggage fees, and the airline can’t lose your luggage if it’s not checked. But you should know what not to pack in your carry-on bag.
To help you not to be trapped by TSA. This article is to help Intending travellers for the holiday season to know which foods can be carried through TSA checkpoints in a carry-on and what needs to be packed in checked baggage.
The deal with the TSA powder rule
The first thing to know is that powdered substances are still allowed in both carry on baggage and checked baggage.
The TSA powder rule states: “Powder-like substances greater than 12 oz. / 350 mL must be placed in a separate bin for X-ray screening. They may require additional screening and containers may need to be opened.”
However, TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein revealed five Local foods that can be carried through a checkpoint.
“So if it’s a solid, definitely you can bring that on an airplane,” Farbstein said. “If it’s not a solid, if it’s something you can spill spread spray pump or pour, it should go into your checked bag.”
So casseroles and turkeys can go in your carry-on, but things like canned cranberry sauce or wine should go in your check bag.
“If you’re traveling with your cranberry sauce, whether it’s in the can or jar or your homemade recipe, again, the can may be solid, the container may be solid, but it is something can be spread,” Farbstein added.
“It’s pourable, it’s considered a liquid.”
“Now, if you want to make your cranberry sauce or when you get to your destination and you want to bring your bag of cranberries with you, that’s just fine you can do that bring those with you. That’s fine. They are solid.”
Travelers who aren’t sure of how they should pack their food can use the TSA’s “What can I bring?” tool to check how their food should be packed.
Here’s a list of Thanksgiving foods approved to be carried through a checkpoint:
- Baked goods. Homemade or store-bought pies, cakes, cookies, brownies and other sweet treats
- Meats. Turkey, chicken, ham, steak. Frozen, cooked or uncooked
- Stuffing. Cooked, uncooked, in a box or in a bag
- Casseroles. Traditional green beans and onion straws or something more exotic
- Mac ‘n Cheese. Cooked in a pan or traveling with the ingredients to cook it at your destination,
- Fresh vegetables. Potatoes, yams, broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, beets, radishes, carrots, squash, greens
- Fresh fruit. Apples, pears, pineapple, lemons, limes, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, kiwi
- Cranberry sauce. Homemade or canned are spreadable, so check them.
- Gravy. Homemade or in a jar/can.
- Wine, champagne, sparking apple cider.
- Canned fruit or vegetables. It’s got liquid in the can, so check them.
- Preserves, jams and jellies. They are spreadable, so best to check them.
- Maple syrup.
Toiletries: You can take toiletries or other liquids that are in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces (100ml), and they must all fit in a one quart (one liter) clear zip top bag. This includes liquids, gels, and aerosols. If you must pack more toiletries than these allowances, you will have to pack them in checked luggage.
Sharp objects: Sharp objects are prohibited in carry-on luggage because they could be used as a weapon. If you simply must bring a knife, box cutter or sword on your trip, it must be packed in your checked luggage. Scissors that are less than 4 inches long, like nail scissors, are generally allowed by TSA, but since the final decision rests with the agent, just be aware that they could confiscate it.
Baseball bats, ski poles, pool cues, bows and arrows, hockey sticks, golf clubs, and pretty much any other sporting equipment containing the words stick, pole, bat or club cannot be brought on the plane as carry-on. That’s because they could be used as a weapon. If playing sports will be part of your travels, consider renting equipment at your destination.
TSA officials also want travelers to know how to keep their food safe while traveling. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Department of Agriculture on how to keep food safe for eating.
Note: This post is written referencing TSA rules for travel from airports in the USA. Some countries may have different rules, so if you’re flying from an airport in another country, please look up the rules for the authority in that country.