Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Food for thought: Food items you can carry through airport security and those requiring to be in checked baggage

Before you agree to bring a family favorite food item to contribute to the Thanksgiving holiday table, it’s important to think about how you’re planning to transport it if you are flying to spend the holiday with family or friends.

Most foods can be carried through a Transportation Security Administration checkpoint, but there are some items that will need to be transported in checked baggage, according to the TSA.

If it’s a solid item, then it can go through a checkpoint. However, if you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it or pour it, and it’s larger than 3.4 ounces, then it should go in a checked bag.

Food items often need some additional security screening, so TSA recommends placing those items in a clear plastic bag or other container when packing them at home and then removing those items from your carry-on bag and placing them in a bin for screening at the checkpoint.

Travelers who are unsure if an item should be packed in a carry-on or checked bag can check the TSA homepage, which has a helpful “What can I bring?” feature. Type in the item and find out if you can carry it through a checkpoint or if it should be checked. Another option is for passengers to tweet to @AskTSA to ask how best to travel with a specific food item.

It is also important to remember food safety by storing the food properly while traveling to prevent foodborne illness. If you need to keep items cold during your trip, ice packs are permissible, but they must be frozen solid and not melted when they go through security screening. Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration also has recommendations on holiday food safety. The U.S. Department of Agriculture also has tips for handling food safely while traveling.

(WYDaily/Courtesy of TSA)
(WYDaily/Courtesy of TSA)

These items can be carried through a TSA 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
  • Candy.
  • Spices.
(WYDaily/Courtesy of TSA)
(WYDaily/Courtesy of TSA)

These items should be carefully packed with your checked baggage:

  • Cranberry sauce. Homemade or canned are spreadable, so check them.
  • 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.

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John Mangalonzohttp://wydaily.com
John Mangalonzo (john@localdailymedia.com) is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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