Thanksgiving dinner foods you can and can’t get through the TSA

The holidays, especially the Thanksgiving holiday, are some of the most popular times of the year for Americans to travel.

Families and individuals travel by car, bus, cruise ship, and plane year after year during the most popular weekend getaway.

Travel can be stressful enough as it is, especially on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. Traffic is a nightmare as millions of people flee urban areas at the same time.

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While it is much easier to travel alone, families tend to plan their trips while school is out for vacation and work is over for the long weekend. Making sure all family members are equipped with everything they need before the day of travel is a must.

You’ll need the basics including comfortable clothes and shoes, hygiene products, electronics, and more – but you may also want to consider packing food for your trip.

Travelers line up at the South Security Checkpoint as traffic increases as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches on Tuesday, November 23, 2021 at Denver International Airport in Denver.

Travelers line up at the South Security Checkpoint as traffic increases as the Thanksgiving holiday approaches on Tuesday, November 23, 2021 at Denver International Airport in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

Whether you’re packing baby feeding supplies, filling your suitcase with edible gifts for your hosts, or even considering taking home leftovers—especially for a short trip, you’ll need to be aware of what foods and drinks you can have. Can’t bring it through TSA.

The Transportation Security Administration has an overview of the foods and drinks you can take with you on your flight on its website. A six-page list of permitted food items is available on the dedicated TSA website “What can I carry?” web page tool.

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Travelers can also type their items into the search bar to see what foods can be carried or need to be checked in.

But you might be mostly curious about which Thanksgiving-themed foods you should bring with you, and which you should leave behind.

A host is shown serving Thanksgiving turkey to his friends during a meal at the dining table.

A host is shown serving Thanksgiving turkey to his friends during a meal at the dining table. (iStock)

“Whether it’s first-run foods or leftovers, the same rules apply,” the TSA said in a statement to Fox News.

If you’re planning to travel with special foods to contribute to the Thanksgiving meal or are traveling with leftovers, be sure to follow this simple rule to make sure your food can travel with youIf you can pour, spread, spray, pump, or pour it in an amount of more than 3.4 ounces, pack it in a checked bag.”

“For example, jams, jellies, cranberry sauce, gravy, or beverages in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces must be placed in a checked bag. Cakes, cookies, pies, meats, dishes, and other solids in hand luggage can carry unlimited quantities.”

Thanksgiving foods that can be carried through TSA checkpoints

    • Homemade or store-bought baked goods
    • Frozen, cooked or uncooked meat
    • casserole
    • Mac n cheese cooked in a skillet
    • Fresh vegetables
    • Fresh fruits
    • candies
    • spices

Each airline passenger is permitted to pack one quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams, and pastes in one carry-on bag; However, individual containers cannot exceed 3.4 ounces.

This rule extends to beverages, food spreads, and cooking sprays.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) recommends packing any liquid-like substance into a checked-in bag.

If travelers can find a basic cooking liquid that fits within the 3.4-ounce container limit, it can fit inside a quart-sized clear resalable bag inside a carry-on bag.

Alcoholic beverages with an alcohol content greater than 70% (over 140 proof) are prohibited in carry-on and checked baggage, according to the US Transportation Security Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration, a TSA spokesperson told Fox News.

Thanksgiving foods to pack in checked baggage

    • Homemade or canned cranberry sauce
    • Homemade or packaged gravy (jar/can)
    • Wine, champagne or cider
    • Canned fruit or vegetables
    • preserves, jam or jelly
    • Maple syrup

Almost every solid food item is allowed as a carry-on or checked item, including cooked, uncooked, or store-bought meals and powders.

For foods that require refrigeration or freezing Prevent foodborne illnessesIce packs are allowed, but they must be frozen solid and not melted by the time you get to the TSA checkpoint.

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On longer flights, dry ice can be used — but it can’t exceed 5.5 pounds per passenger, and the packaging must be clearly labeled and ventilated in accordance with FAA procedures, a TSA spokesperson told Fox News.

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Flammable items are not allowed in carry-on or checked baggage for safety reasons.

According to the FAA, cake ignition is not allowed on flights, which fall under the same category as pyrotechnics.

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Last but not least, to ensure you have an easier time getting your Thanksgiving food through checkpoints, TSA recommends using clear plastic bags and similar containers.

This way, items can be safely removed from carry-on bags when it’s time to check.

Fox News’ Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.

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