With a record number of people expected to fly this holiday season, we can expect plenty of people to be taking a dish with them to their Thanksgiving dinner. And that's okay, but there are some specific rules on what you can carry onto the plane. If you fly even a little bit, you're certainly familiar with the rules about bringing liquids or gels in your carry-on bags. But that can be a little confusing when it comes to food. So the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has published a short guide to what's permissible in your carry-on luggage, and what needs to be checked.
"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."
Those words come direct from TSA, and that should clear up most food questions. You can't spill a turkey as much as drop it ("oh, the humanity!"). And you certainly can't spray it, pump it, or pour it. So that means you're good to take the turkey onto the plane with you. Likewise, cranberry sauce and gravy would have to be checked.
But there are definitely some gray areas. Mashed potatoes are actually not allowed to fly in your carry-on bag. They're relatively solid, sure; but not solid enough for TSA. So you've got to check the potatoes. Meanwhile, whole uncooked potatoes are allowed in your carry-on.
The most common foods people take through security checkpoints are baked goods -- cakes, pies, etc. TSA says those are generally permitted through security, although they may need additional screening. And I'm just guessing, but I'd think the type of pie matters. A banana cream pie, for example, is literally less solid than those forbidden mashed potatoes.And our co-worker makes us some truly delicious pumpkin crunch every year... I can't even imagine what TSA would decide with that. So use your best judgment. But if there is any doubt, plan to check it.
Read the TSA guidelines on what's allowed and how to pack it at THIS LINK.
Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons by Ms. Jones