RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Thanksgiving is only a week away, and plenty of Americans will be catching a plane to see their family for the holidays. But if you’re preparing a dish for the Thanksgiving table before your trip, make sure you know how to bring it with you on your travels with these tips from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA).
According to the TSA, many foods can be carried through a security checkpoint, but some will need to be transported in checked baggage.
There are some general rules of thumb to keep in mind. If the food a solid item, like turkey or a casserole, it can probably go through a checkpoint. However, a more liquid-based food like gravy or cranberry sauce will probably need to go in a checked bag — unless you only plan to bring a 3.4 ounce serving.
Foods that can be carried through a TSA checkpoint include:
- Baked goods like pies, cakes, cookies or brownies
- Meats like turkey, chicken, ham or steak. This can be taken through frozen, cooked or uncooked.
- Mac ‘n Cheese
- Fresh vegetables
- Fresh fruit
Meanwhile, there are other Thanksgiving staples that should be carefully packed in your checked baggage instead:
- Cranberry sauce
- Beverages, alcoholic or not
- Canned fruit or vegetables. Since there is liquid in the can, requirements are different than those for fresh fruits and veggies
- Preserves, jams and jellies
- Maple syrup
No matter what treats you bring through a security checkpoint, they will likely need some additional screening. To avoid any hassle, pack food in an easily accessible place in your carry-on so you can quickly take it out and put it in a bin for screening.
Even when traveling, remember to follow food safety rules to avoid getting foodborne illness from your holiday meal. You can bring ice packs on a plane as long as they are frozen solid when they pass through a TSA checkpoint.
If you’re still not sure if your Thanksgiving contribution will be able to make it through a checkpoint, consult the “What can I bring?” feature on the TSA website, which goes into more specific detail on exactly what items you can take and how they should be packed.