Carry-On Cuisine: Thanksgiving Foods You Can Take on the Plane

The Transportation Security Administration’s guide to what Thanksgiving foods can and can’t be taken on the plane

Thanksgiving, traditionally one of the busiest travel periods of the year (a recent travel survey of 1,925 Americans by Internet coupon code website CouponCodes4U found that 61 percent of Americans planned to travel for Thanksgiving), is also a time when the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) sees all types of food packed into carry-ons.

To help Thanksgiving travelers navigate whether mom’s apple pie and grandma’s cranberry sauce can be taken on the plane, the TSA has posted a guide for traveling with food or gifts, and its free My TSA app also addresses the issue of what parts of the Thanksgiving feast can be carried on the plane.

Pies and cakes, though they may require additional screening, can be taken (and eaten) on board. Turkey is OK, too, but sides and dressings like cranberry sauce and gravy must be put into your checked luggage unless they are less than 3.4 ounces.

Larger portions of creamy dips and spreads, cheese, peanut butter, jams, jelly, maple syrup, oils, vinegars, salad dressing, salsa, sauces, and soups are also banned from the plane, as are gift baskets filled with edibles like jams.

One exception to the rule: items purchased after the security checkpoint — solids and liquids — can be taken on the plane because they have been pre-screened. If your Thanksgiving feast gets confiscated, cross your fingers you're on a flight that is serving Thanksigiving meals.

Lauren Mack is the Travel Editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @lmack.

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