Thanksgiving Food You Can Take Through TSA

by Shelby Scott
(Photo by Gado/Getty Images)

Hoping to bring home some Thanksgiving leftovers home after the feast is done, but stuck traveling by plane? Don’t fret. While you might not get to bring all your favorites home, there are some Thanksgiving foods you can bring through TSA. And we’re here with a list of foods that are safe for air travel.

In reality, Fox Weather reports most Thanksgiving foods can be transported via airplane. However, depending on what you’re trying to transport, you may need to check it in your bags.

According to the TSA, “If it’s a solid item, then it can go through a checkpoint.” However, for foods like cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes, or turkey gravy, you’re going to have to check it. The administration explained, “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.”

Aside from the aforementioned Thanksgiving necessities, there are several other foods that will not make it through a TSA checkpoint. These include canned fruits and vegetables; wine, champagnes, and ciders; preserves, jams, and jellies; and maple syrup.

Now that that’s covered, below is a list of foods that should make it through American airports’ TSA checkpoints.

  • Baked goods including pies, cakes, cookies, brownies, and more
  • Frozen, cooked, or uncooked meats like turkey, chicken, and hame
  • Stuffing (cooked or uncooked)
  • Macaroni and Cheese (cooked or uncooked)
  • The all-important casserole dishes
  • Vegetables

Now that you know what can and can’t pass the TSA checkpoints, make sure you carefully consider what dish you plan to bring to Thanksgiving dinner.

The news outlet also advises that, because most food items require additional security screening, these products should be kept in an easy-to-reach location.

How Long Do Thanksgiving Leftovers Last?

Once you’ve checked your green bean casserole with security and have made it to your seat on the plane, we have one more question. How long do Thanksgiving leftovers actually last?

Well, unsurprisingly, it depends on what you’re trying to store.

Cooked turkey lasts for three to four days in the refrigerator. However, if you’re hoping to keep the leftovers for another week or so for a later meal, you may need to take a few extra steps. Once you’ve cleaned up from Thanksgiving dinner, be sure to carve the turkey completely off the bone and store it in a Ziploc bag. Both your white and dark meat should last for two to three months in the freezer if you take those extra steps.

As for turkey gravy? It should be fine for two days in the fridge, however, it can last two to three months in the freezer.

What about that casserole you carried past TSA? That should last a little longer in the fridge, remaining safe to eat for up to four days.

Looking for tips on how to store dessert? Read our full article here.