Foods You Can and Can't Carry On an Airplane

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The week of Thanksgiving is one of the busiest travel weeks of the year. Unfortunately, there's not much any of us can do about that fact — but you can make sure any food (homemade or otherwise) you have in your carry-on luggage passes TSA guidelines so it's smooth sailing once it's your turn to go through security. 

We get it — there are a lot of rules and it can be hard to keep track. So, here are a few holiday travel trips you need to know when it comes to bringing food items on board an airplane in your carry-on luggage.


"When you travel with food, remember: solid foods, cakes and pies [are] absolutely not a problem to travel with. You can definitely carry them if they're solid," says organizing expert Peter Walsh.


"Liquids, aerosols and gels: you can't carry on unless they're in 3-ounce containers [and] in a 1-quart Ziploc bag. It's not going to happen. So don't try to carry the homemade cranberry sauce or something like peanut butter with you," Peter continues.

"Weirdly, you can't travel with peanut butter, but if you make a peanut butter pie, you can carry it in your carry-on," he says.

Again, spreadable food like peanut butter IS considered a liquid by TSA. So unfortunately, you can't bring it in your carry-on unless in a 3-ounce container and inside the plastic bag with the rest of your liquids.

If you're still not sure about what food products you can and can't carry on-board an airplane, the TSA has a section on their website called "What Can I Bring?" that likely has the answer.

When in doubt, you can click through "food" or type in any item and hit "search" to double-check if it's carry-on approved before you go.

Safe travels and happy holidays!

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