The Transportation Security Administration is very clear on what types of foods you can and can not bring onto an airplane, but most people think that the “liquid” ban extends to cheeseburgers. Not so.
The TSA’s only restrictions are that any food items brought through security must be either be whole, natural foods (like an orange), or be in placed in a container or otherwise wrapped up. All food must be x-rayed.
The food items that are specifically prohibited are as follows:
- Salad dressing
- Oils and vinegars
- Creamy dips
- Wine, liquor and beer
- Cranberry sauce
- Maple syrup
- Other beverages
Here’s a big list of food you can bring through airport security:
Cakes (subject to additional inspection)
Pies (subject to additional inspection)
Sliced fruit (wrapped or in a container)
Firm Cheese (wrapped)
- An unwrapped cheeseburger with fries and a big container of ketchup would not be allowed past security because a) The food is not wrapped. b) Ketchup is a gel.
- A wrapped turkey sandwich with a small bag of potato chips would pass security because a) the food is wrapped b) there are no gels in large quantities.
Pies and cakes are allowed, but are subject “additional screening.” This might be TSA code for “we will harass you, then eat your delicious pie.”
We can’t guarantee that some rogue TSA agent won’t give you a hard time for trying to bring your apples and pretzels to the gate, but according to the letter of the law, you’re allowed.