Can you take Thanksgiving food on the plane? TSA breaks down the rules

Local News

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – If you are traveling over the Thanksgiving holiday be prepared for long lines and wait times to get through security.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is also reaching out to passengers who want to bring food items and say in the past few years, more people have brought food in their carry on and checked baggage when flying somewhere for Thanksgiving.

They say the biggest thing is to know the rules so you don’t hold up the line.

“Know what you’re allowed to take in carry on and what needs to go in checked baggage when you’re traveling with foods,” said Mark Howell, who is TSA’s Regional Spokesman,

For example, the TSA says a pumpkin pie can be brought through in your
carry-on. However, to quicken the screening process, any food item you bring should be taken out of our carry on bag and placed in a bin.

Each food item should be placed in a separate bin which makes screening easier and faster.

The rules in basic terms: if the food is solid (like a pie, potatoes which include fresh or instant or bread or marshmallows) it is all allowed in the carry on bag.

But if the food is liquid (canned Yams or vegetables for example that have liquid in the can) then the 3-1-1 rules for liquids apply. They cannot be brought on if the can is more than 3.4 ounces — which most are.

Howell says remembering the guidelines can help you and every passenger in line with you.

“If it’s not done the right way it can cause delays in screening time,” he says.

Tips for traveling with food: if you can pump it, pour it, spread it or spray it and it’s more than 3.4 ounces, those items need to be placed in a checked bag.

Some items that are allowed in a carry-on, however, might surprise you.

For example, a frozen turkey is allowed. But Graham says it has to be frozen (solid) so there is no liquid in the packaging.

Howell says nationwide, the TSA is anticipating a potential record number of passengers being screen over the holiday travel period. He says that’s why knowing the rules out food can be important in terms of getting through security.

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