Most people are well aware of the Transportation Security Administration's (TSA) rules for liquids when flying. For a quick refresher, you're allowed to bring a quart-sized clear plastic bag filled with containers of liquids as long as they are roughly three ounces or smaller in size. Anything bigger should be placed in a checked bag. But what exactly constitutes a liquid to the TSA? Read on for our helpful hints of banned foods that are regarded as liquids and ensure that your next trip is all smooth sailing through security.

6 Foods Banned From Airplanes

1. Booze

bottles of liquor with wooden background

Don't fret, not all alcohol falls under a travel ban, just anything over 140 proof or 70 percent alcohol by volume (ABV). An example to avoid would be the popular Bacardi 151 which is 151 proof rum. So if you're returning from a successful wine tasting trip, feel free to carefully pack up to five liters (a little more than a gallon) of vino into your checked luggage. For onboard sustenance, mini bottles of alcohol under 3.4 ounces can be added to your clear plastic bag of liquids; just be sure that what you bring is less than 70 percent ABV and you'll have no trouble. Cheers!

2. Soft Cheeses

flay lay of brie cheese on wrapper

Up next on our list is another bummer realization: that soft, creamy cheeses are considered liquids. Some types to avoid bringing onboard include but are not limited to:

  • cream cheese
  • mascarpone
  • brie
  • goat cheese
  • ricotta
  • camembert
  • neufchatel

So plan your next charcuterie board with soft cheeses you can source locally, since traveling with them in your carry on is not an option. On the other hand, hard cheeses like string cheese or parmesan would be allowed so at least that gives you something to work with. And as far as checked bags go, soft cheeses can be packed there with no issues. We think that's "gouda" news!

3. Peanut Butter

open jar of creamy peanut butter

Another food to avoid bringing in a carry on is peanut butter spread. Since it's considered a liquid, peanut butter must be in a container of 3.4 ounces or less. The standard size jar of peanut butter is a 16-ounce size, so it's best to pack this treat into your checked bag if possible. In a similar vein, the popular hazelnut spread known as Nutella is also not recommended to bring in your carry on bag; it comes in a jar that's almost 34 ounces, and also needs to be placed in checked luggage.

4. Salsa

jar of fresh salsa with tomatoes

Next on our list of items not recommended for airplanes is salsa. This zesty sauce is easy to identify as a liquid, so be sure to bring a small container of about three ounces if you need it in your carry on. Reminder that your liquids of choice must fit into a quart-sized plastic bag, so keep that in mind when packing. For a full jar of salsa, which is usually about 16 or so ounces, stick to a checked luggage option. Chip chip hooray!

5. Canned Foods

stack of canned foods

While canned foods don't exactly scream travel, they are an important addition to our list of banned foods. Even if these containers are sealed, they must be checked in your bag and not carried on. Canned foods are considered liquids; this category even includes:

  • chili, vegetables
  • fruits
  • soups
  • beans
  • sauces

It's important to remember this when considering any food you may want to bring home from or bring on a trip.

6. Gravy

antique gravy boat

Last but not least on our list of banned airplane foods is everyone's holiday favorite, gravy. So if you're coming home from Christmas with some of grandma's famous homemade sauce, don't let it get confiscated by TSA in the security line. Either pack the gravy in a tiny container of fewer than 3.4 ounces for your carry on or hop on the gravy train and bring a larger amount by adding it to your checked bag.

Overall, we hope our list of foods banned from airplanes will help to ensure stress-free travel for your future. Whether you want to enjoy a mile high happy hour, bring a special something to a family holiday meal, pack food for picky kiddos, or return with a cool culinary item from abroad, be sure to take our roundup into consideration. For any future possible policy changes regarding liquids, please refer to the TSA website!

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