Since many airlines no longer provide snacks to their passengers with basic flight packages, one of the most common questions asked by first-time travelers is can I bring my own food when traveling by air?
The general answer is YES. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) allows almost all solid food in carry-on baggage and is instructed to allow liquid food or beverages only in containers smaller than 100 milliliters.
The prohibitions on food in carry-on baggage are very few and are reduced to fresh meat and seafood and certain vegetables, depending on the country of origin.
Food that you can take in your carry-on baggage when traveling by plane
Bread, candy, cereal, solid cheese, solid chocolate, cookies, crackers, dried fruit, gum, nuts.
Cooked meat, seafood and vegetables without liquids. Cakes, pies, pizza. Sandwiches, cakes.
Solid pet food, salt, spices, dry tea bags.
Yes, but in containers smaller than 100 milliliters…
Alcoholic beverages, bottled water, cream cheese, liquid chocolate, liquid coffee, creamy dips and spreads, salsa, honey, hummus, ice cream, jam and jelly, juices, oils and vinegars, butter, salad dressing, soda, soups, yogurt.
Fresh fruits and vegetables: “Passengers flying from Hawaii, Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands to the U.S. cannot carry most fresh fruits and vegetables due to the risk of spreading invasive plant pests,” the TSA says.
Fresh meat and seafood: If covered with ice, the ice must be completely frozen when passing through security. If the ice melts, the food will not be allowed in carry-on baggage.
Frozen food: The ice must be completely frozen when passing through the sieve. If there is liquid at the bottom of the container it will not be allowed.
Live lobster: You must check with the airline to find out if it is allowed in carry-on baggage. You can carry it in your checked bag, but it “must be transported in a clear plastic spill-proof container,” according to the TSA.
You can’t carry…
Alcoholic beverages with more than 70% alcohol.
Canned food is best carried in checked baggage, as it may not pass the rule for liquids of less than 100 ml.