Food is allowed in your carry-on bags for you to take on the airplane. It is best to separate food items such as powders and other food materials so TSA can see them clearly at the X-ray inspection.
While you can bring most types of food on an airplane, there are regulations to a few of them. For example, you can’t get on the plane with ice cream that’s over 3.4oz/100 ml. Some other foods have no particular quantity restrictions, but they are allowed on the plane following special instructions.
Foods like frozen foods, fresh fruits and vegetables, and canned foods have to follow special instructions before being allowed on the plane.
It’s best to be certain whether or not the food you want to bring on the plane is allowed. You’ll also want to know the maximum size allowed.
Food You can Bring on the Plane
|Type of Food||Carry-on Bags||Checked Bags||TSA|
|Alcoholic Beverages Over 140 Proof||No||No||Source|
|Baby Formula||Yes (Special Instructions)||Yes||Source|
|Breast Milk||Yes (Special Instructions)||Yes||Source|
|Canned Foods||Yes (Special Instructions)||Yes||Source|
|Coffee (Beans or Ground)||Yes||Yes||Source|
|Coffee Thermos (empty)||Yes||Yes||Source|
|Cooked Meat, Seafood, Vegetable||Yes||Yes||Source|
|Creamy Dips and Spreads||Yes||Yes||Source|
|Fresh Fruits and Vegetables||Yes (Special Instructions)||Yes||Source|
|Fresh Meat and Seafood||Yes (Special Instructions)||Yes||Source|
|Frozen Food||Yes (Special Instructions)||Yes||Source|
|Gel Ice Packs||Yes (Special Instructions)||Yes||Source|
|Jam and Jelly||Yes||Yes||Source|
|Juice for Babies||Yes (Special Instructions)||Source|
|Live Lobster||Check with Airline||Yes||Source|
|Oils and Vinegar||Yes||Yes||Source|
|Pet Food (Solid)||Yes||Yes||Source|
|Pet Food (Wet)||Yes||Yes||Source|
|Pies and Cakes||Yes||Yes||Source|
|Protein or Energy Powders||Yes||Yes||Source|
|Salsa and Sauces||Yes||Yes||Source|
|Water for Babies||Yes (Special Instructions)||Yes||Source|
Liquor is allowed planes only if the alcohol concentration is less than 70%. Besides that, you must carry it in checked baggage instead of your carry-on. Lastly, the bottle must be sealed in original packaging and not more than 5 liters.
Alcoholic beverages are allowed but with some rules.
Alcoholic beverages with over 24% but not over 70% alcohol concentration are limited in checked baggage to 1.3 gallons (5 liters) per flight passenger.
It must also be in sealed retail packaging. However, alcoholic beverages with 24% alcohol or lower are not restricted for checked baggage.
But if you want to carry mini bottles of alcohol in your carry-on bag, it has to fit into a 1 quart-sized bag.
You can bring baby food in your carry-on or checked luggage. TSA allows baby food such as jarred or canned baby food. Baby formula and breast milk are also accepted and there is no 3 oz liquid rule restriction on baby food. You need to disclose officers at the time of screening process and present it separately from your travel gear.
There are no limitations on the size and quantity of candy you can bring on an airplane. This is because the item is not considered harmful. However, you can only carry solid candy without any restrictions on a flight.
You can bring solid foods like candy in either your checked baggage or carry-on bags. The candy has to be well organized in your bag to allow the X-ray machine to scan successfully.
As far as the candy is in solid form, there are no disclosed limitations on the size you can bring on the plane as your carry-on.
You can carry canned foods on a plane, but you must meet the TSA guidelines. This means that you cannot bring a can on a flight if its size is more than 3.4 ounces. The item will have to undergo additional security checks.
Canned food is allowed on the plane as carry-on but under special instructions. They require additional screening process because of how they appear on the X-ray machine.
They are subject to the 3-1-1 rules of liquids, aerosols, and gels. Due to the additional screening canned foods are subjected to, they are often advised to be packed in checked bags.
If you are carrying a creamy cheese, you must follow the 3-1-1 rule set by the TSA. This means you cannot bring more than 100 ml of liquid cheeses on a flight. However, there are no restrictions if the item is solid.
TSA doesn’t allow creamy cheese over 3.4 ounces (100 ml) on the plane. You can have as much cheese as you want in your checked bags.
Also, you can bring any amount of cheese you want on the plane if the cheese is solid.
As with cheese, for you to bring liquid chocolate on the plane, it must not be over 3.4 ounces. You can, however, bring as much liquid chocolate as you want in your checked bags.
If the chocolate is solid, you’re allowed to bring any quantity you need both in carry-on and checked bags.
The TSA has put a 3.4-ounce restriction on all liquid coffees regardless of the type. Meanwhile, there are no limitations if you are carrying coffee beans. You can also keep the solid item in a carry-on or checked bag.
Liquid coffee is allowed on the plane as carry-on, except it must be less than 3.4 ounces/ 100 ml.
Coffee thermos is also allowed with no limitations as both carry-on and checked bags.
Coffee (Beans or Ground) is allowed on the plane as carry-on with no limitation as both carry-on and checked bags.
Cooked Meat, Seafood and Vegetable (No Liquid)
Food items are allowed on a flight as long as you carry them in the carry bag instead of checked luggage. You will also have to ensure that every product is in solid form for safety.
You’re allowed to transport cooked meat, seafood, and vegetable on the plane as a carry-on. The only rule is that it must not be in liquid form.
Also, you’ll have to check with your airline whether it can fit underneath the plane’s seat or in the overhead bin.
TSA allows you to bring cookies in your carry-on and checked bags without limitations. However, keep in mind that you will face extra security checks if you take cookies in a carry-on.
You can come on the plane with cookies, but it is subjected to additional screening.
Items like cookies are screened separately from other items in your carry-on bag because it often doesn’t display well in the X-ray machine.
However, having it in your checked bags eliminates the need for extra checks—the same thing for foods like crackers.
Creamy Dips and Spreads
All creamy dips and spreads come under the 3-1-1 rule set by the TSA because of the liquid consistency. This means that you cannot more than 100 ml of such items. You can also not keep the things in your checked bags.
Creamy dips and spreads must not be over 3.4 ounces to be allowed on the plane as a carry-on.
They are also scanned separately from other items in your carry-on bag. But they might not be screened differently if your bag isn’t clustered with objects.
The airlines and TSA have put no restrictions on dried fruits because they are solid. You should also keep the items in an organized fashion in the carry-on bag to avoid extra checks. However, you can also keep them in checked luggage.
As long as your carry-on bag is not clustered, your dried fruits will pass through the airport security check without additional screening processing.
You can bring dried fruits on the plane either in your checked bags or as a carry-on item with no limitations.
You can also bring fresh eggs on the plane as carry-on with no limitations.
Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Individuals from some places cannot bring fresh fruits and vegetables on the plane because of safety issues. Meanwhile, you can bring these times without limitations if you are not from a restricted country or city.
Passengers flying from Puerto Rico, Hawaii, or the U.S. Virgin Islands to the U.S. mainland cannot bring most fresh vegetables and fruits on the plane.
That is due to the risk of spreading plant pests.
Other passengers are allowed to bring fresh fruits and vegetables on the plane.
Fresh Meat and Seafood
The TSA allows you to carry all types of solid seafood and meat on the plane. You can also bring frozen items with dry ice and ice packs, but they must not be melted. Otherwise, the authorities will restrict your entry.
Seafood, meat, and other solid food items are allowed as carry-on and checked baggage.
However, if the meat and seafood are packed with ice packs, the ice packs have to be completely frozen.
If the ice packs are a little bit watery, they won’t be allowed on the plane. The limit for ice packs is 5 pounds of dry ice. This applies to all frozen foods.
Gel Ice Packs
You can carry ice packs on a plane by ensuring that item is frozen during the security checkpoint. Besides that, you can also take the pack, whether melted or frozen, if you have a medical reason.
As long as a frozen item is completely frozen at the checkpoint, it will be allowed through.
If your gel ice pack is slushy, partially melted away, or has any liquid at its bottom, it is subjected to the 3-1-1 liquids requirements.
However, medically essential gel ice packs in reasonable quantities are permitted irrespective of their state (slushy or melted).
TSA permits gravy on the plane as carry-on, but it is also subjected to the 3-1-1 liquid rule. So, if it’s over 3.4 ounces/100 ml, it won’t be allowed on the plane.
But the restrictions are removed if you have them in checked bags.
The TSA allows you to take gum on a plane in your checked or carry-on luggage. You also don’t have to worry about any amount restrictions. The only thing you must ensure is that the gum is organized in the bag.
Gum is another food that is allowed on the plane, either as carry-on or checked baggage.
There are no restrictions whatsoever, including the 3-1-1 rule. As long as it’s not clustered with several items in your bag, it’ll be screened as a whole with the entire carry-on bag.
You can take honey in your carry-on by ensuring that the item is not above 100 ml. This is because the product comes in the liquid category as per TSA. Meanwhile, you will face no restrictions when carrying honey in a checked bag.
Honey is in the creamy category, and according to TSA, creamy and liquid are treated as one at the security checkpoints.
So, passengers are not allowed to bring honey over 3.4 ounces on the plane as a carry-on. But any quantity can be brought on the plane as checked baggage.
The authorities allow you to bring hummus on a plane, but you must ensure that the quantity meets the 3-1-1 rule. This means that the item must not be above 3.4 ounces.
Hummus must not be over 3.4 ounce/100 ml to be allowed on the plane as a carry-on.
They are also scanned separately from other items in your carry-on bag. But they might not be screened differently if your bag isn’t clustered with objects.
You can also bring Ice Cream on the plane as carry-on under the 3-1-1 rule.
Jam and Jelly
You can bring jam and jelly on the plane as carry-on but under liquid regulations. It also must not be over 3.4 ounce/100 ml. You should also ensure that the packaging is secure
However, they are allowed in higher quantities in the checked baggage. Also, even after meeting the required quantity, you should ensure that it is well packed for easy scanning.
Juices for babies are allowed without the 3-1-1 rule, but on special instructions – they are allowed in reasonable quantities in carry-ons. They are also scanned separately.
However, other juices and maple syrup must be less than 3.4 ounces/100 ml to be allowed on the plane.
You can bring a live lobster on the plane. Pack them in a clear container for a TSA agent to inspect them at the time of screening process TSA also recommends you to check with your airlines on live lobsters because every airline may have a different policy on bringing a live lobster on the airplane.
You can bring nuts on the plane in their original packaging in any quantity. However, if the packet is open, you must put it in a resealable bag and then place that bag in a secure container with a lid.
Nuts are in the solid food types category, so they are allowed on the plane either as carry-on or checked baggage, with no limitations.
However, ensure it is properly packed for easy scanning, or it will have to be scanned separately.
Oils and Vinegar
It’s either you pack your oils and vinegar in your checked baggage, or you come with nothing more than 3.4 ounces/100 ml to be allowed as carry-on.
Also, if they are not well packed, they’ll have to be scanned and inspected separately.
Peanut butter is creamy, so it is subject to the 3-1-1 limitations. It must not be over 3.4 ounces to be allowed on the plane.
It also has to be properly packed and not clustered with other items in the bag for successful scanning. It can, however, be scanned separately.
You can carry both solid and wet foods on the plane by keeping specific guidelines in mind. There are no restrictions on the former, but you must take more than 100 ml of wet food on your flight.
Solid pet food is allowed on the plane either as carry-on or checked baggage with no restrictions.
It only has to be well packed for the X-ray machine to scan it as a whole with the entire bag.
But wet pet food is subject to the 3-1-1 rule and must not be over 3.4 ounces to be allowed.
Pies and Cakes
All pies and cakes are allowed on a plane, but the TSA might make you go through a taste test before boarding. You can also take gel-like cakes on the flight.
Pies, cakes, and pizza are solid and are therefore allowed on the aircraft as carry-on and checked baggage.
But you’ll want to be careful not to allow the cake to melt, or it will be considered as a liquid.
Nevertheless, since they cannot be packed with other items, they are scanned separately.
All solid and dry snacks are allowed on flights by the TSA without any quantity restrictions. However, the authority may tell you to separate the items from other things in your carry-on.
Snacks, sandwiches, snack bars are allowed on the plane as carry-on or checked baggage with no restrictions.
They are solid foods and so are of not many concerns to TSA. As long as the feet in your carry-on bag, you can have them with you on the plane.
Soda is liquid, so it must not be over 3.4 ounces/100 ml to be allowed on the plane as a carry-on. Even after meeting the required quantity, you should ensure to pack it properly in your bag.
If you have any material or item in your bag that could prevent the X-ray machine from during its job properly, you’ll have to remove it and repack it at the security checkpoint.
What kind of snacks can you take on a plane?
You can bring breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack food. It also includes fresh fruits, vegetables, and spices. If you are traveling to the continental US, you can bring sliced bananas and whole bananas through airport security. The Transportation Security Administration allows both items to be processed through the airport.
Can I bring chips in my carry-on?
You can bring potato chips and other vegetables through airport security. Solid food items can be transported in either carry-on or checked baggage. However, items such as powders, syrups, and food items are permitted to be separated from carry-on bags.
Can I bring gummy bears on a plane?
The Transportation Security Administration allows candy to be brought through security in carry-on luggage. However, you should bring only solid candy such as candy bars and gumballs. You can check your food items before you board a plane by putting them in a spill-proof container.
Can you take pizza on a plane?
The Transportation Security Administration allows passengers to bring pizza in their carry-on bags. There is no limit as to how many pizza you can bring into the airport.
Can you carry open food through TSA?
Solid food items, such as protein bars and fruit, can be transported in either a carry-on or checked bag. Although peanut butter is considered a safe food item, it’s not allowed to be carried in a liquid form.