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9 Foods You Can Bring Through Airport Security—And 4 You Can’t
People are traveling all over the country right now! Let's clear up the TSA rules for foods you can—and can't—bring through airport security.
Shutterstock / Arina P Habich
Ready for a getaway? Knowing what food staples and gifts you can bring through airport security will save you and your fellow travelers time at the TSA checkpoint. Most of these apply only when you’re traveling within the United States, so make sure to check with customs about declaring any foods you’re bringing back from another country.
Here are some no-brainer snacks to pack for the plane, too. Safe travels!
Taste of Home
Homemade cake from Grandma baked with love? Favorite cake from your childhood bakery? They’re set to jet! Cakes may require additional inspection from TSA agents, but as long as it’s not an ice cream cake or some type of Jell-O mold, you can bring a cake along to your final destination.
Taste of Home
Most baked goods, both homemade and store-bought, are safe to go on board with you. We don’t imagine that you’d bring a pie or cake just on a dish through the airport, but it’s worth mentioning that your baked goods should be secured in a box or container to keep them safe.
Travel around the country without ever leaving your kitchen with these iconic pies from every state.
Shutterstock / Silberkorn
NO: Creamy Cheeses Over 3.4 Ounces
You could technically bring a block of cheddar as big as you like, but anything on the creamier side like brie, blue and cream cheese, needs to be less than 3.4 ounces to be in your carry-on bag.
Shutterstock / MaraZe
Found something unique during your trip? Have a loose tea that your friend just NEEDS to try? Things like salt, loose and bagged tea and dry spices are all allowed on board. Just make sure they’re labeled and separate from your toiletries and other food to prevent confusion and spillage!
Shutterstock / Africa Studio
Just can’t wait to eat—or trying to grab dinner while you run through the terminal? Surprisingly, pizza is good to fly, although we assume you’ll eat your slices before you get to the gate. It should be wrapped up or in a box to pass TSA inspection, rather than being on a paper plate or dish.
Shutterstock / 5 second Studio
NO: Jam and Jelly Over 3.4 Ounces
Even if the container is sealed, if it’s over 3.4 ounces, it’s got to go in your checked bag. You wouldn’t want to chance having to leave one of your famous jams behind! To be on the safe side, pack it in your checked bag in a plastic bag to prevent any accidental breakage and spillage onto your clothes or other things.
Shutterstock / margouillat photo
YES: Baby Food
Don’t worry about having a hungry toddler while you’re on the go. Baby food is acceptable to bring through security—even if the amount exceeds the usual 3-1-1 rule. Just a heads up, TSA agents might open any container that’s over 4 ounces.
Shutterstock / Robyn Mackenzie
YES: Fresh Fruit
You definitely want to snack on fresh fruit on the plane, but the price of fruit at the airport is bananas! Bring your own apples and oranges through security instead. (Maybe not a whole melon, but most snack-size fruit and veggies are good to fly.)
Shutterstock / ZRyzner
NO: Alcoholic Beverages Over 140 Proof
Just about the only flat-out NO for food and drinks you can’t bring on a plane at all is alcohol over 140 proof. It won’t make it through security in your checked bag or your carry-on. Less potent mini-bottles under 3.4 ounces can be brought through security, anything larger should be checked.
MAYBE: Canned Foods
We suggest leaving any canned items at home or packing them in your checked bag, even if they fall under the 3.4 ounce rule. Just to be on the safe side! These cans may require additional screening and not be allowed through with you to your final destination.
Shutterstock / Gladskikh Tatiana
YES: Pet Food
Furry friends traveling on board with you? Make sure you clear them with your airline first, and don’t forget to bring their food. If your pet food is dry or “moist” it can exceed the 3-1-1 rule and go in your carry on bag, but if you need to bring wet pet food, it has to follow the 3-1-1 rule when going in your carry on.
YES: Breast Milk and Formula
If you’re a new mom, baby formula and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities, but may require additional inspection. If you have them in a bag or small cooler with ice packs, just make sure the ice packs are completely frozen when going through security.
Shutterstock / Timolina
Feed the family while you wait with a homemade sandwich, because PB&Js are cleared for takeoff! We’ve heard about people bringing a whole casserole through to the gate, but a classic sandwich is probably the best option. Just make sure it’s wrapped in plastic or in a bag.
Head to the TSA’s website for a complete list of food items that you can and cannot bring on your upcoming trip.