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You can live lobsters, but no peanut butter: unexpected rules for bringing food on a plane

Summer is my favorite time to travel. While there are currently problems with air travel due to lack of staff, the number of passengers is skyrocketing after the lifting of many restrictions due to COVID-19. The Transportation Security Administration cautions air passengers against accidentally carrying prohibited items in their carry-on baggage, and some of these prohibited items are food. What food can not be taken on a plane, said the publication Lifehacker.

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Cheese

Hard cheese will pass through airport security (TSA) without any problems, but if you plan to take cream cheese with you in your hand luggage, you may have problems. According to the TSA, cream cheeses are considered liquids, meaning they are allowed, but only up to 3,4 ounces (100g). But where does hard cheese end and cream cheese begin? TSA spokeswoman Lisa Farbstein explained: "If you can spill, smear, spray or pour cheese, it's liquid."

Fruits and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables have several nuances. They are allowed to be taken with you in hand luggage if they are in solid form, and not in the form of a liquid or gel. In addition, the TSA notes that passengers flying from Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the United States Virgin Islands to the US mainland "cannot carry most fresh fruits and vegetables due to the risk of spreading invasive pests."

Frozen food

Frozen foods are allowed in your cabin baggage under certain circumstances. If the food is packed with ice in a refrigerator or other container, then the ice packs must be completely frozen when going through the screening. If the ice or ice packs have partially melted and any liquid remains at the bottom of the container, they are not allowed. So you can take frozen food with you on your flight, but it is up to the TSA agent to decide if it is actually frozen.

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Live lobsters

Surprisingly, there are situations where you are allowed to carry a live lobster through airport security. Live lobster is allowed, but must be carried in a clear plastic, moisture-proof container. The TSA officer will visually inspect your lobster at the checkpoint. But it may be that the airline has its own rules in this regard, so be sure to check.

Ice cream

If you are trying to smuggle traditional ice cream through security in your hand luggage, it will be subject to the 3,4 ounce (100g) rule.

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Peanut butter

The TSA qualifies peanut butter as a liquid, making it subject to the 3,4 ounce (100 g) rule. Instead of arguing with a TSA agent about exactly where the solid state ends and the liquid state begins, try purchasing TSA-approved bags of peanut butter if you really can't survive an entire flight without this treat.

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