November 30, 2023


Food & Travel Enthusiast

Turkey travel: Which Thanksgiving foods can you take on a plane?

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is reminding travelers of the Thanksgiving foods they can and can’t bring in carry-on bags. (Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images)

CLEVELAND (WJW) — Thanksgiving weekend travel is famous for clogging airports. And to keep things running smoothly at security checkpoints, the Transportation Security Administration has announced which holiday foods travelers are allowed to take with them on the plane.

Coming from afar won’t squelch peoples’ desire to bring their famous pumpkin pie or classic yams and marshmallows along for the ride to share with family and friends, so TSA has made it simple with some “food for thought.”

“If it’s a solid item, then it can go through a checkpoint,” TSA said in a press release. “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.”

These carry-on Thanksgiving foods are good to go:

  • Baked goods: Yes, that includes pumpkin pie
  • Meat: Frozen, cooked or otherwise, all meat is allowed, but please remember to package correctly.
  • Stuffing in all forms
  • Casseroles: Midwesterners, rejoice!
  • Mac ‘n Cheese: Fully cooked or not
  • Fresh vegetables
  • Fresh fruit
  • Candy: But do keep this in your carry-on, as otherwise, you may be asked to share
  • Spices

Food items allowed to be taken through security should still be placed in a plastic bag to make TSA screeners’ jobs easier, especially since food often needs additional security screening.

Thanksgiving foods that need to be placed in checked baggage:

  • Cranberry sauce
  • Gravy
  • Wine, champagne, sparking apple cider
  • Canned fruit or vegetables
  • Preserves, jams and jellies
  • Maple syrup
  • Anything else that has liquid or could be considered “spreadable”

Find full TSA travel guidelines right here.

**Related video below: Now is time to get vaccinated before Thanksgiving, Ohio’s top doctor says.