What food can I carry on my flight from Denver International Airport?

By Jim Lawson on December 23, 2023
What food can I carry on my flight from Denver International Airport?
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Flying for the holiday? Here is what TSA says you can and can’t carry on or check in your luggage.

You can bring homemade holiday food on a flight, but you might need to put some in your checked luggage. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says there are certain homemade food items that can be carried through security and others that need to be in your checked bag. If it’s a solid item, then it can go in your carry-on. 

“However, 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 go in a checked bag,” the TSA says. 

Here are some examples of solid foods that can be carried on and go through TSA security checkpoints:

  • Homemade or store-bought pies, cakes, cookies, brownies and other sweet treats
  • Turkey, chicken, ham and steak can be carried on frozen, cooked or uncooked
  • Stuffing can be brought on a plane cooked, uncooked, in a box or in a bag
  • Traditional green bean casseroles
  • Mac ‘n cheese can be cooked in a pan or traveling with the ingredients to cook it at your destination
  • Potatoes, yams, broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, beets, radishes, carrots, squash, greens
  • Apples, pears, pineapple, lemons, limes, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, kiwi
  • Candy
  • Spices

Here are some examples of holiday foods that need to be packed in a checked bag:

  • Homemade or canned cranberry sauces that are spreadable 
  • Homemade gravy packed in a jar or can
  • Wine, champagne, sparkling apple cider
  • Canned fruit or vegetables that have liquid in them
  • Preserves, jams and jellies. They are spreadable, so best to check them.
  • Maple syrup

For people bringing homemade food in your carry on, the TSA says you should bring in those items in an accessible location because these items may need some additional screening.

People traveling should plan ahead and consider flight times when carrying homemade foods on a plane. The TSA says ice packs can be brought on board a plane through carry-on security checkpoints as long as they are completely frozen solid at the screening point. In checked bags, ice packs don’t have to be completely frozen.

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