Can I Pack Food In My Checked Luggage? Tips & Guide 2023

Do you need clarification on can i pack food in my checked luggage? Packing food items for air travel is a real headache, especially for those who need an idea or previous experience. The main thing to learn about is TSA (Transportation Security Administration) and its rules.

The TSA keeps a critical eye on everything, including carry bags or checked luggage; nothing can escape from its eyes. Primarily, the prohibited and restricted items include liquid food or spreadable items, so confirm before packing anything. However, the specific proportions are set for sauces, drinks, etc., to keep in checked luggage.

On the other hand, when it comes to food in hard and dry form, you can carry almost everything with you. The recommendation list for food items is constructed with immense care and proportional management. The rules and regulations regarding food items on board depend highly on the restrictions of national and international flights. A potential tip is to keep any confused and doubtful thing away from your luggage because a tiny, harmless thing can devastate your travelling.

Can I pack food in my checked luggage

Keep your valuable artifacts and essentials in your hand and carry them with you. It is because you can have your needs safe and sound in case of any tragedy or loss of your checked luggage. In this article, I have shared the airport security rules for packing food items and the detailed list of recommended and non-recommended food items. So that it will assist you while packing food for getting on board. For further details, let’s look at the given information below;

 Airport Security Rules For Packing Food In Checked Baggage

One should act accordingly to the rules and regulations. And when it comes to airport security rules, you should be more careful because that is serious. Behind the curtains, TSA, besides the carry-on bags, is screening your checked bag. It is done to keep the prohibited and restricted items on one side.

The Transportation Security Administration monitors everything, so it is better to declare each food item in your carry-on or checked luggage. Per the TSA rules, restrictions for the checked bag are comparatively minor than the satchel bags.

Most prohibition is for liquid and spreadable food because it ruins or spreads everywhere quickly. You can take some of your favourite sauces and drinks in different proportions. However, you can carry almost every dry, hardened food item on a flight. There is no restriction for this.

Rules for taking fresh food depend upon its condition. Fresh vegetables, fruits, seafood, and meat can be taken on board in hardened or frozen form. And if you use ice bags to keep them rigid, they should not be liquid. By the way, you can carry around about 5.5 lbs of dry ice in your checked bag.  

The main reason behind these rules is to prevent mishaps like breaking or fire in the luggage portion of the airplane. So, it is better to check out the passed list of TSA for allowed and restricted food items. They are further listed below;   

Read more: Can I pack alcohol in my checked luggage?

Food Stuffs That Allowed In Checked Baggage

Most people must learn what to take and what not to take during air travel. It is most commonly asked by those who are new to this process. Almost everything in dry and hardened form is good to go in a flight. Accordingly, make sure to have a look at the list of allowed items before deciding anything. Take a look at the following list of permitted food items.

1. Hard cheese

Hard cheese is not liquid, so that it can be carried in your checked bag or carry bag. You can also take cream cheese if that is at most 3.4 ounces. It is permitted because people love to take the best cheese home.

2. Dried goods

Dried goods include pantry items such as grains, pasta, or beans. These can be carried easily in a checked and carry bag because they have no sign of liquid.

3. Spices 

Spices can be taken in your carry-on or checked bag because they are in minor packing. Hence, herbs are in dry form, so they are ok to carry but make sure to label each properly. They should be unopened, and try to take them in clear jars.

4. Vacuum-sealed meat

Fresh meat is not allowed because there are chances of that getting ruined or smelly while on the way. But vacuum-sealed beef does not come in the range of liquid or fresh food. So, yes, you can carry it along with you.

5. Packed snacks

Many people, such as travellers worldwide, are great admirers of taking delicious snacks with them. If they are sealed and packed, they are perfectly ok to go.

6. Sweets

Well, life is sweet. So yes, you can happily take all your favourite candies and chocolates with you in your checked bag and carry bag. Ensure that the candy is confectionery and the chocolate is in complex form. Pack them properly, and they are ready to go.

7. Coffee and tea

Food regulations are the same for coffee beans and tea leaves because they are Non-Liquid. Tea bags can also be taken, but all these items should be in clear sealed jars.

8. Bread

Do you love baguettes? And want to take them home? You can take the freshly made baguette or any bread on a flight. There is no strict and rigid rule for a loaf of bread because it is a perfectly dried food.

9. Non-Liquid cooked food

Non-Liquid cooked food is excellent to take on a flight with you in your carry-on and checked bag. So, do not worry about taking extra Thanksgiving turkey or your favourite mom-made dishes with you if they are without any gravy or liquid.

10. Dry fruits

Rules and regulations are the same regarding dried or packed food. Fresh vegetables and fruits get ruined easily, so they cannot take along on a flight. But dry fruits or dry vegetables as well, are authorized.

11. Baby formula

Baby formula is not liquid milk; it comes in dry form in cans or jars. There is not any hard and fast rule for baby formulas. All you need is to read the specified travelling rules for parents.

12. Juices

Juices can be carried in a checked bag, but their packing should be sealed and perfectly ok. However, they will have to go from special screening.

13. Pizza

I love pizza, and I can take it anywhere with me. Are you thinking of carrying pizza with you too? Happily, having a large fajita with you right from Italy is possible.

14. Fresh eggs

Yes, you have read perfectly. You can take eggs, but they should be fresh and adequately packed. Make sure the packing of fresh eggs should be rugged and durable. Scientifically, they are liquid from the inside but still on the solid food list. However, take them at your own risk.

15. Pie or cakes

Some people have a sweet tooth like me. In the list of TSA, pies and cakes are deliciously ok for take-off. Pack them and put them in your checked bag or carry bag.

16. Energy or protein powder

Energy and protein powder in a Non-Liquid form is good to go in a flight. But being a powdered form, it will go through unique scanning.

17. Sandwiches

As a foodie, I love stopping by a bakery to buy food for my journey. And luckily, carrying your favourite sandwiches with you on your flight is permitted.

Foods Not Recommended To Be Packed In Checked Luggage

Non-recommended food items on airplanes often include liquid food or spreadable items. They have hard and fast rules to keep people aware before encountering trouble. Have a look at the non-recommended food items below;   

1. Alcoholic drinks or wine

There are restrictions from the FAA for travellers to have wine or alcoholic drinks on the flight. If you want to bring some, ensure they are less than 70% alcohol. It is also said that the limit for wine or alcoholic drinks per passenger is 1.3 gallons, almost 5 litres. Take any bottle under 3.4 ounces in your bag to avoid hardship.

2. Fresh meat or seafood

As per the rules of TSA, these items are not recommended because they get ruined easily, especially in hotter weather. But if you still want to carry them, they should be fully frozen or dried. Other than that, you will comply with the TSA’s rules.

3. Fresh vegetables and fruits

Fresh vegetables and fruits in smaller amounts are ok to take in checked luggage, but if they are not in a mild form, that will be an issue for TSA. Travellers from the USA, the Virgin Islands, and Hawaii cannot take fruits.

4. Liquid food

Liquid food includes gravies and yogurt etc. They are in liquid form, plus they are spreadable. The 3.4-ounce rule also applies to them, but other than that, they are not allowed to carry them along.

5. Spreadable Food and Sauces

As you know, spreadable food items often come in squeezable bottles or pouches, which can easily burst out in the luggage. So that’s why they are not allowed as per the rules, but in packing less than 3.4 ounces, you can carry your favourite sauces in the checked luggage.

6. Honey, oil, vinegar

The liquid food list includes food items like oils, honey, or vinegar. In smaller amounts, they are acceptable to take in the checked luggage, but it will be against the TSA’s 3-1-1 rule for carry-on.

7. Highly alcoholic liquor

Highly alcoholic drinks are something that has over 70% of alcohol in it. It is almost 140 proof, which you cannot take on a flight with you. If you have bought any drink on the way and doubt it, don’t buy it or parcel it back to your home. Highly alcoholic drinks are not righteous to be on a flight.

8. Canned food

Canned food is perfect for carrying along if it is at most 3.4 ounces. Remember, most canned food comes in over 3.4 ounces, requiring extra screening. It is as per the 3-1-1 rule of TSA. So, to avoid critical circumstances, don’t take canned food with you.

Bringing Food In Checked Luggage For International Flights  

The significant perturbation while taking food from another country is to keep the chances of pests away. Travelling on international flights might be slightly more tricky than national ones. It is because you must also take care of and read out the food restrictions for your destination country. It may be different from your own country.

While approaching the US, you might be asked to clear all the food items you have in the checked luggage and on the carry-on. It will be for detailed scanning of any pests or harmful substances. If you have yet to declare something, it will cost you more than 10,000 $. Dry food items plus canned food in specific proportions are acceptable. While vegetables, fruits, meat, and poultry are often banned or restricted because of the chances of pests. They will have to go through detailed inspection and screening.

However, you can avoid these unwanted situations by simply researching the food-related rules and regulations of your home country and the designated country so that you can pack the food items as per the rules and regulations.

Final Thoughts : Can I Pack Food in My Checked Luggage?               

I have cleared all the queries and questions on what you can and cannot carry on board for your flight. There are a lot of food items that are recommended and approved to take with you on the flight. These include small portions of sauces, drinks, or dips, plus all kinds of dry and demanding food. While on the other hand, liquid food items, spreadable things, or more significant amounts of alcoholic beverages are unacceptable.

You can take snacks and drinks after passing out from the TSA checkpoint if you want them. They will be management approved. Keep your smaller food items in the checked luggage. And please read out all the TSA-based food for flight rules before packing anything. That’s all I have to briefly inform you about what food items you can or can’t take with you. It will assist you in this regard.   

Read More: How to Pack Shampoo in my Checked Luggage?


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