Traveling with Thanksgiving leftovers? Here's what the TSA will let you bring through security.
Taylor RainsNov 24, 2022, 19:46 IST
Each year, an estimated 46 million turkeys are consumed in the US during the country's annual Thanksgiving — or Friendsgiving — feast.
About 88% of Americans will partake in the November holiday, with a collective $1 billion spent nationwide on the traditional bird, according to a study by comparison website Finder.
But that's just the start of the festivities. There are also potatoes, gravy, casseroles, bread, and stuffing — or dressing if you're from the South — among many other homemade recipes to go with Thanksgiving dinner.
With so much food, there are bound to be leftovers. And, if you're in one of the 25 million seats expected to fly over the holiday, you'll need to figure out a way to take it home.
According to the Transportation Security Administration, travelers have two options for bringing leftovers with them: carry-on bags or checked luggage.
The basic rule of thumb is if it's solid, it's probably safe to take it through security. These include cooked and uncooked items like baked goods, turkey, chicken, stuffing, casseroles, fresh fruits and vegetables, and spices.
The TSA reminds travelers to be conscious of food safety and properly store items to avoid any potential illness. Ice packs are permissible as long as they are completely frozen when passing through the checkpoint.
There are also a handful of items, like liquids and sauces, that need to be checked if they are over the carry-on allowance limit.
The TSA says 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 be checked. This includes cranberry sauce, gravy, wine, jams, maple syrup, and any canned items with liquid.
If you prefer to check your food, the TSA advises you carefully pack it to ensure it won't spill in your luggage.
Again — remember to properly store the food for transport. If an item needs to be refrigerated, use a cooler. More tips can be found on the US Food and Drug Administration's website.
If you're still unsure about what you must check versus what is permissible in a carry-on, you can search for your item using the TSA's "what can I bring?" tool on its website.