Carry On Or Check? TSA's Guidelines for Traveling With Food

Carry On Or Check? TSA's Guidelines for Traveling With Food

Anjali Prasertong
Jun 24, 2013

If you are planning on bringing home any edible souvenirs from your travels this summer, it's a good idea to take a quick look below at the latest guidelines from the Transportation Security Administration for what they allow in carry-on bags and what should be packed in checked luggage.

The following items are not allowed in carry-on luggage in quantities larger than 3.4 ounces:

Food Items to Pack in Your Checked Luggage

  • Cranberry sauce
  • Creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, etc.)
  • Gift baskets with food items (salsa, jams and salad dressings)
  • Gravy
  • Jams
  • Jellies
  • Maple syrup
  • Oils and vinegars
  • Salad dressing
  • Salsa
  • Sauces
  • Soups
  • Wine, liquor and beer

If the container is 3.4 ounces or smaller, you can carry it on as you would any other liquid or gel, following the 3-1-1 guidelines (3.4-ounce bottles placed in a 1-quart zip-top bag, 1 bag per passenger).

Pies and cakes are permitted on flights, but may have to go through additional screening. And remember that gift-wrapped items may have to be unwrapped in the course of security screening.

The TSA website also notes:

It’s important to know that even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not allowed through the checkpoint if it triggers an alarm during the screening process, appears to have been tampered with, or poses other security concerns. The final decision rests with TSA on whether to allow any items on the plane.

So if you want to bring home a very special food souvenir, packing it in your checked luggage or mailing it ahead is always the safest way to go.

→ Read  Traveling with Food or Gifts at

(Image: Carolina K. Smith MD /

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