Confused about whether can you take food in your suitcase abroad? We are here to help you so you can easily avoid tossing away your purchases in the airport’s bin. This article will break down all TSA regulations for common food items.
It does not matter if you want to take food in your suitcase for medical reasons requiring immediate access to food, for the sake of a healthy meal, or if your small children are traveling with you; it is essential to remain informed about what the TSA might have to say about your eatables.
Bear in mind that the organization may publish a list of handy foods on its website, categorizing them under permitted and prohibited categories. Yet, in practice, it is the agent at the security line checking your luggage who will make the final call about whether can you take food in your suitcase abroad.
Can You Take Food In Your Suitcase Abroad?
Transportation Security Administration has the authority to regulate what shall and shall not pass through regarding whether you can take food in your suitcase abroad.
Nevertheless, and quite surprisingly, TSA allows almost all food items to clear airport security in suitcases, so long liquids, creams, pastes, and gels comply with the 3-1-1 rule. For solid food items, there is no limit to the food amounts you carry on board, and for liquids- as many 100ml containers as you can fill in a quart-sized bag.
Additionally, when taking food abroad in suitcases, passengers can pack their food in any way they like, such as in plastic resealable bags, lunch bags, or Tupperware.
As the TSA pronounces: if the item can be spread, spilled, poured, sprayed, pumped, and is in a container larger than 3.4 ounces, it belongs to be stored in the checked bag, or it will be confiscated and thrown away.
Taking food in suitcases abroad may be allowed by the TSA. Still, other considerations that have to be made depend on the rules and regulations of the destination country you travel to, the airline you are traveling with, and the food you are taking along.
Some countries may have lenient regulations, while in contradistinction, others have stricter rules on the type of food that they allow passengers to bring in. Due to safety and health concerns, some countries do not allow vegetables, fresh fruits, and meats.
Therefore, it is always a good idea to pre-check with the customs agency of your destination country to confirm their rules regarding traveling with food into the country.
Alternatively, you can also check with your travel agent or the airline itself to determine whether there are any additional regulations and restrictions that you need to be aware of. Overall, it is best always to choose to be cautious.
Sometimes, importing foods, animals, seeds, and plants is banned by certain countries because they fear the introduction of new and invasive species to the ecosystem.
Food Regulations By TSA:
While it may be a relief to find out that TSA allows travelers to take food in their suitcases abroad, you still need to distinguish between the food items that are permitted and those that are prohibited.
We consider some food items, but for a detailed and more comprehensive view of other non-listed items, you can always visit the TSA website.
Allowed Food Items :
Generally, spices come in a dried form, which makes them good to be carried in your checked or carry-on luggage. Before you pack, just make sure all the spice packs are unopened and clearly labeled to prevent them from being mistaken for other non-approved substances.
A pro tip for all our readers is only to purchase spices unavailable in your hometown.
Vacuum-sealed Hard Cheese and Meat:
Since hard cheese and meat are solid and non-liquid items, they are perfectly fine to be flown in any checked or hand luggage suitcase. Ensure that the items are packaged in a packaging that is sealed through a vacuum.
Globally, you will find several shops selling pre-sealed products, and if not, then they have the equipment to seal the items for you, so utilize the opportunity.
Snacks That Are Packaged:
The good news for travelers wanting to take home interesting and delectable snacks from the world’s greatest food destinations is that they are allowed on the condition that every packet is sealed.
But do not worry because even unopened packs of snacks like nuts, crackers, granola bars, cookies, and chips are also safe and approved for travel in suitcases.
Buying liquor before flying? Make sure not to buy any Grain Alcohol, Everclear, Vodka, Whisky, Rum, or Absinthe that has more than 70% alcohol or 140 proof, as you will not be able to transport the liquor through luggage.
Canned/ Processed Food:
Canned or processed food is good to travel in checked luggage, but with hand luggage, they must comply with the 3-1-1 rule. This constitutes a big problem as most cans are above the liquid limit of 100ml and would be screened separately.
Jams, Dips, Spreads, And Creamy Cheese:
Where hard cheese can be conveniently brought on a plane in a suitcase, creamy cheese cannot be, as it is an item that is spreadable and has a soft and gel-like consistency. Hence, and sadly, the liquids rule would apply.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQS):
Can you take food through baggage control?
Yes, food is allowed to be taken through baggage control.
Will food spoil in checked luggage?
Vegetables and fresh fruits will spoil in checked luggage, and airlines or customs of the destination country often prohibit them.
What’s not allowed in checked baggage?
Ammunition, firearms, flammable explosives, and other toxic and poisonous items are not allowed in checked baggage.
Can I take food in checked luggage in the UK?
You can take sealed, solid packs of food in checked luggage in the UK.