TSA Rules for Traveling with Food

••• Sweet Desserts!. David A. Kelly

Most business travelers know that they need to streamline what they’re carrying in order to make it through the TSA security checkpoints at airports quickly and easily. If you’re a business traveler, the 311 rule for liquids should be old-hat to you by now.

But what if you have something a unusual that you’ve picked up as a gift for someone during your business trip? Or what if you want to bring a little bit of food with you on the plane.

What’s allowed when it comes to food?

Well, basically, the rules are the same. When it comes to bringing food through a TSA security checkpoint, you need to keep the 311 rule in mind, and either pack, ship, or leave behind anything that has a high liquid concentration.

For example, the TSA’s webpage on Traveling with Food includes specific bans (if the amount you’re bringing is over 3.4 oz.) on items such as: cranberry sauce, jam or jelly, maple syrup, salad dressing, sauces, creamy dips and spread (yes, that means cheese, salsa, and peanut butter!), lotions, perfume, cologne, and more. I think it goes without saying that you can’t bring beer, wine, or other drinks with you.

On the upside, the TSA may allow you to bring pies and cakes with you through the checkpoint, but it does say that they will be subject to additional screening.

For more information on the 3-1-1 rule, visit the TSA website.

For a list of prohibited items, visit the TSA webpage on prohibited items.