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TSA clarifies what Thanksgiving foods can be carried onto an airplane

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Posted at 1:24 PM, Nov 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-18 21:19:42-05

The TSA expects millions of Americans to travel for Thanksgiving this month. For many, it will mark their first holiday trip since the start of the pandemic.

Because Thanksgiving 2021 will be a special one for so many, the TSA knows that travelers will want to bring a piece of their family home with them — especially Thanksgiving leftovers.

But what foods can travelers take through TSA security lines? And how should they go about packing food in their bags?

Luckily, the TSA has tips for airline passengers who plan to travel with food or Thanksgiving leftovers.

A rule of thumb

The TSA says it's OK to pack any "solid" food in a carry-on bag. But what classifies as "solid?"

Passengers who question whether a food is a "solid" should run through the following check-list:

"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," the agency said in a press release.

Thanksgiving favorites

The TSA also provided a list of specific Thanksgiving foods that can be carried onto an airplane. Those items include baked goods (including homemade pies), meats (frozen, cooked or uncooked), stuffing, casseroles, mac 'n cheese, fresh vegetables, fresh fruit, candy and spices.

The TSA says items that need to be packed in checked bags include cranberry sauce (canned or homemade), gravy (homemade, jarred or canned), wine or champagne, canned fruits and vegetables, maple syrup and preserves, jams or jellies.

How to pack foods in a carry-on

TSA officials say food items often need additional screening, so they recommend putting them in a clear plastic bag or container and placing them in a separate bin during screening.

For more information about what food items can be brought on a plane, visit the TSA website and their "What can I bring?" page.