Breaking News
More () »

Traveling for Thanksgiving? Here are the types of holiday food you can pack with your carry-on luggage

The TSA said solid foods can safely be carried through checkpoints, but if you can spread it, spill it, or pour it, you must pack it with your checked luggage.
Credit: Transportation Security Administration

WASHINGTON — The Transportation Security Administration issued a reminder to Thanksgiving travelers this week: Before you agree to bring a favorite food item to the holiday table, be sure to plan how you're going to transport it if you're traveling by air.

Most foods can be carried through a TSA checkpoint, but there are some items that will need to travel in your checked baggage, the agency said.

"Here's some food for thought: If it's a solid item, then it can go through a checkpoint," the TSA said in a press release. "However, 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."

Food items often need to undergo additional security screening, the TSA added. It's best to place those items in an easily accessible area of your carry-on luggage if you're taking food on the plane.

If you're not sure if your food item should be checked, you can visit the TSA homepage, which has a “What can I bring?” feature, the TSA said. 

All you have to do is type in the item and find out if you can carry it through a checkpoint or if it should be checked. 

Another option is for passengers to tweet their questions to @AskTSA to find out how best to travel with a specific food item or inquire via Facebook Messenger, the agency added.

Here are examples of the most commonly asked questions about which food items are permissible through a checkpoint and which ones need to get packed in checked baggage.

Thanksgiving foods that can be carried through a TSA checkpoint

  • Baked goods. Homemade or store-bought pies, cakes, cookies, brownies and other sweet treats.
  • Meats. Turkey, chicken, ham, steak. Frozen, cooked or uncooked.
  • Stuffing. Cooked, uncooked, in a box or in a bag.
  • Casseroles. Traditional green beans and onion straws or something more exotic.
  • Mac ‘n Cheese. Cooked in a pan or traveling with the ingredients to cook it at your destination.
  • Fresh vegetables. Potatoes, yams, broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, beets, radishes, carrots, squash, greens.
  • Fresh fruit. Apples, pears, pineapple, lemons, limes, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, kiwi. 
  • Candy.
  • Spices.

Thanksgiving foods that should be carefully packed with your checked baggage

  • Cranberry sauce. Homemade or canned are spreadable, so check them.
  • Gravy. Homemade or in a jar/can
  • Wine, champagne, sparking apple cider.
  • Canned fruit or vegetables. It’s got liquid in the can, so check them.
  • Preserves, jams and jellies. They are spreadable, so best to check them.
  • Maple syrup.

Download the FOX43 app

Before You Leave, Check This Out