Navigating TSA: What Holiday Foods Can Tag Along for the Ride?
After soaking up all the family moments during the holidays, there’s nothing quite like the excitement of bringing home some homemade leftovers from the holiday feast. But if you’re catching a flight, you might wonder if airport security will give the green light to Grandma’s soup or the extra gravy that you’re planning to drench your leftover turkey in. Maybe you’re even wondering if there’s a limit to how much food you can haul through TSA (Transportation Security Administration).
Nearly as noteworthy as the holiday meal itself, the idea of enjoying festive leftovers sparks anticipation for many. Yet, for those choosing air travel to reach their destination, you have to figure out which side of the line your favorite dishes fall on. This way, you can pack smart and avoid the disappointment of tossing them at the airport.
Before committing to bringing a beloved family dish to contribute to the holiday spread, or bringing one back with you, it’s important to figure out how you’ll get it there. This is especially true if you’re flying. While most foods smoothly navigate a TSA checkpoint, many items will have to go in checked baggage.
The TSA website offers some guidance. “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.”
Navigating the fine line between liquid and solid can sometimes be a gray area. For example, what if you want to enjoy canned cranberry sauce mid-flight? It’s solid, yet one could argue that it has spreadable qualities. Is it considered carry-on compliant, or should it find its place in the checked bag?
To help you navigate this culinary maze, the TSA has dished out guidelines on what Thanksgiving meal goodies can and can’t make it through security. And if you’re still scratching your head about an item, the myTSAapp has a “What can I bring?” feature to help. They also offer advice on how you should pack the holiday food items.
Holiday foods hat go through TSA checkpoint.
Holiday foods that are allowed through a TSA checkpoint cover a range of items, including turkey and other meats like chicken, steak, and ham, regardless of whether they are cooked, raw, or frozen. Additionally, TSA regulations permit the transportation of stuffing, casseroles, macaroni and cheese, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, spices, desserts, and candy.
On the other hand, some holiday foods should be carefully packed with your checked baggage. Both homemade and canned cranberry sauce fall into this category due to their spreadable nature. Regardless of the thickness or consistency, gravy, whether homemade or in a jar, is designated for checked bags. The same rule applies to canned vegetables and fruits, jam, jelly, preserves, and even maple syrup.
Take a look at the full list from TSA here.