Is gravy a liquid? What Thanksgiving foods you can (and can’t) bring through TSA security

When you’re divvying up those Thanksgiving leftovers next week, you should keep in mind some things you can bring through airport security checkpoints, and some things you’ll have to put in your checked bag.

Generally speaking, any solid food can go into a carry-on. And, yes, for packing purposes, gravy and cranberry sauce count as liquids.

“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,” according to the Transportation Security Administration.

That rule does not apply to liquid hand sanitizer: Passengers can bring containers of big as 12 ounces through TSA checkpoints.

TSA considers ice packs acceptable to bring through security. However, they must be frozen solid and not melted.

Some items may require additional screening, so place them in clear plastic bags or containers. 

If you’re not sure about a specific food item, the TSA has a page where you can find out, though the agency notes that its officers have the final say on what’s allowed and what isn’t.

These items can be taken through security:

  • Baked goods
  • Meats
  • Stuffing
  • Casseroles
  • Mac ‘n cheese
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Candy 
  • Spices

These items should go in a checked bag:

  • Cranberry sauce
  • Gravy
  • Wine
  • Canned fruit or vegetables
  • Preserves, jams and jellies
  • Maple syrup

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