If you’re flying somewhere for Thanksgiving, and especially if you’re flying close to the big day (like Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday itself), you may be thinking about bringing food with you. And that means you may be wondering what foods you’re allowed to fly with. RELATED: 12 Tips to Make Thanksgiving Travel Smoother and Safer
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The TSA, anticipating confusion, created a page dedicated to Thanksgiving foods, which is the best place to go for answers. “Generally,” says the page, “if the item is a solid, it can be carried through a checkpoint such as pies, cakes and other baked goods, which still may require some additional screening. However, liquids such as eggnog and maple syrup and gels such as preserves and jellies should go into checked bags. Liquids in carry-on bags must follow the 3-1-1 liquids rule. The general rule of thumb is that if you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it or pour it, then it should go into a checked bag.”
Just be sure to package everything in airtight containers, wrap carefully in plastic wrap for added protection and then pack in Ziploc bags so if anything spills, it won’t ruin everything else in your bag. If you’re packing bottle in your checked luggage, put them inside a pair of shoes if possible. Travel wine bags like these are great for protecting bottles of wine but can also be used for other bottles of similar size.
A short CNN roundup of Thanksgiving foods you’re allowed to fly with makes clear that turkey—cooked or uncooked—is also allowed in your carry-on. The question, as with most foods, is how to pack it safely and accessibly (in case you get picked for additional screening). If you want to bring ice packs, for example, remember that they must be completely frozen at the time you go through security.
Still have questions? The TSA dishes up these tips about traveling with food this Thanksgiving:
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.
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.
For more help regarding what foods you’re allowed to travel with:
Whether you’re traveling with food or not, we wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving and safe travels!
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