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TSA: Different food items can be checked in or carried aboard
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TSA: Different food items can be checked in or carried aboard


With the Thanksgiving holiday season coming up, and some potentially traveling by air with food items, the Transportation Security Administration on Monday released some pointers on how to transport food, either in checked bags or carry-ons.

In general, the TSA said that food that is solid and less than 3.4 ounces can go through a checkpoint in carry-on luggage, though food items should be placed in clear plastic bags or containers since they often need some additional security screening. Those items should then be moved into a separate bin for screening at the checkpoint.

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However, food that the TSA says can be spilled, spread, sprayed, pumped or poured, likely should go in a checked bag.

Ice packs are also permissible, but they must be frozen solid and not melted when they go through security screening.

The TSA listed some of the popular foods by what can be carried through a checkpoint and what should be packed with checked baggage.

  • Carry-on: Baked goods, either store-made or homemade; meats, frozen, cooked or uncooked; stuffing, either cooked, uncooked or boxed; casseroles; macaroni and cheese; fresh vegetables or fruit; and candy.
  • Checked: cranberry sauce, gravy, wine/champagne, canned fruit or vegetables, preserves/jams and maple syrup.

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