What you need to know about packing food souvenirs in your carry-on luggage—so you won't end up throwing away $45-worth of jam at airport security.
I once found a good deal on Peanut Butter & Co.'s Cinnamon Raisin Swirl peanut butter in Chicago and packed it in my carry-on to take back to the East Coast. At airport security, a T.S.A. officer confiscated the offending jar (but not before asking me where I had found something that looked so delicious) as tears collected in my eyes, imagining all those peanut butter-and-bananas that would not be.
It was then that I learned that "creamy dips and spreads (like cheeses, peanut butter, etc.)" are not permitted through the T.S.A. checkpoint.
Lest the same thing happen to you, here's a reminder of what food souvenirs you should skip out on, stow in your checked baggage (taking note, if you're traveling internationally, of what might not make it through customs), or ship home ahead of time. (Keep in mind that if your food is under 3.4 ounces, it's permissable.) We're including our staff's own airport security sob stories, too—because we've all been there.
1. Creamy dips and spreads, including peanut butter, mayonnaise, and soft cheeses (firm cheese are okay—bring on the cheddar!).
2. Jams, jellies (this includes honey), maple syrup, oil, and vinegar.
3. Alcohol, like wine, liquor, and beer.
More: Don't worry—this carry-on cocktail kit is designed to make it through security.
4. Salsa, salad dressing, sauces (including cranberry sauce and hot sauce).
5. Yogurt, pudding, and custard.
7. Wrapped gifts may have to be opened.
8. And remember, sharp objects—meat cleavers, knives, razor-like blades, and ice picks all included—are not permitted.
So what's the best solution if you're in line at airport security and realize that your souvenir won't make it past the checkpoint? Eat it—fast.
What souvenirs have you lost in the name of flight safety? Please share with us in the comments below!