Don't fly with gravy in your carry-on luggage.
That may seen like common sense but the stress of holiday travel and the desire to bring something special or nostalgic home for a family gathering can sap the sense out of even the most experienced traveler. Especially when it comes to food.
Can you carry on a jar of grandma's famous gooseberry preserves? No.
A special bottle of "spirits" from Uncle Jessie? No.
Aunt Anne's pumpkin spice pie? Yes!
The TSA knows the dos and don'ts can be confusing so they've produced a comprehensive (and in the case of gravy, oddly specific) list of what you can and cannot take through airport security checkpoints:
Traveling with Food or Gifts
When it comes to bringing items through checkpoints, we've seen just about everything. Traveling with food or gifts is an even bigger challenge. Everyone has favorite foods from home that they want to bring to holiday dinners, or items from their destination that they want to bring back home.
Not sure about what you can and can't bring through the checkpoint? Here's a sample list of liquid, aerosol and gel items that you should put in your checked bag, ship ahead, or leave at home if they are above the permitted 3.4 ounces.
- Cranberry sauce
- Creamy dips and spreads (cheeses, peanut butter, etc.)
- Gift baskets with food items (salsa, jams and salad dressings)
- Maple syrup
- Oils and vinegars
- Salad dressing
- Wine, liquor and beer (except if purchased in the airport AFTER you've been screened)
You can bring pies and cakes through the security checkpoint, but please be advised that they are subject to additional screening.
While wrapped gifts are not prohibited, if a bag triggers an alarm, security officers may have to unwrap a gift to take a closer look inside. We recommend passengers wrap gifts after their flight or ship them ahead of time, to avoid the possibility of having to open them during the screening process.