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Flying for Thanksgiving? TSA provides tips on which foods you'll need to pack in your checked luggage

Solid foods are OK, but if you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it or pour it (and it’s larger than 3.4 ounces), then it should go in a checked bag.

HARRISBURG, Pa. — The Transportation Security Administration on Thursday issued a reminder to Thanksgiving travelers hoping to bring a favorite food item to the table at their eventual destination that some food items will need to be transported in their checked luggage -- and not in their carry-on bags.

"Here’s some food for thought," the TSA said. "If it’s a solid item, then it can go through a checkpoint. However, if you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it or pour it, and it’s larger than 3.4 ounces, then it should go in a checked bag."

Food items often need some additional security screening, so the TSA recommends placing those items in a clear plastic bag or other container when packing them at home and then removing those items from your carry-on bag and placing them in a bin for screening at the checkpoint.

Those who are unsure if an item should be packed in a carry-on or checked bag can check the  TSA homepage, which has a helpful “What can I bring?” feature. 

Thanksgiving foods that can be carried through a TSA checkpoint

  • Baked goods. Homemade or store-bought pies, cakes, cookies, brownies and other sweet treats
  • Meats. Turkey, chicken, ham, steak. Frozen, cooked or uncooked
  • Stuffing. Cooked, uncooked, in a box or in a bag
  • Casseroles. Traditional green beans and onion straws or something more exotic
  • Mac ‘n Cheese. Cooked in a pan or traveling with the ingredients to cook it at your destination,
  • Fresh vegetables. Potatoes, yams, broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, beets, radishes, carrots, squash, greens 
  • Fresh fruit. Apples, pears, pineapple, lemons, limes, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas.
  • Candy.
  • Spices.

Thanksgiving foods that should be carefully packed with your checked baggage

  • Cranberry sauce. Homemade or canned are spreadable, so check them.
  • Gravy. Homemade or in a jar/can.
  • Wine, champagne, sparking apple cider.
  • Canned fruit or vegetables. It’s got liquid in the can, so check them.
  • Preserves, jams and jellies. They are spreadable, so best to check them.
  • Maple syrup.

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