By Cailey Rizzo
November 27, 2019
Funwithfood/Getty Images

Whether your family has requested you bring home your famous peach cobbler or you need to bring leftovers of your aunt’s green bean casserole to your own fridge a flight away, many travelers may be wondering just how to transfer all of that Thanksgiving deliciousness. Thankfully (like, really thankfully) the TSA has you covered. 

Just in time for the food feasting holiday, the agency released a guide on what's allowed and what's not.

The general rule of thumb is that solid foods are fine to put in your carry-on but anything liquid should go straight in your checked luggage. Pies, cakes and baked goods are good to go in your carry-on — although if you’re carrying a particularly liquidy apple pie in may have to go through some additional screening.

The challenge for the traveler is often trying to figure out the best way to pack foods. Items that should be placed in a checked bag should be carefully packed in plastic tubs that are sealed tightly—perhaps even with some additional duct tape to keep the lids sealed. Or, if in glass containers such as a bottle of wine, it might be a good idea to wrap it in bubble wrap.

Turkey, stuffing, casseroles and vegetable side dishes should be good to go. But anything like gravy, cranberry sauce or canned fruits and vegetables should go into your checked luggage. 

As for potatoes, raw is fine. Mashed is not. “After they are prepared as mashed potatoes, they’re not exactly what one would define as a solid,” the TSA specified.

But, "if you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it or pour it, then it should go into a checked bag."

And if you’ve got an ultra-specific question you feel isn’t answered by standard TSA guidelines (for that secret family recipe), you can tweet the TSA and someone will respond with an answer to your query. You can also download the MyTSA app to look up specific items.

If you’re flying internationally, it won’t be the TSA that will stop you from bringing grandma’s turkey abroad. The food will pass with no problem through security. It’s once you reach customs in your destination that you’ll have problems. Typically, meat products and produce are not allowed to cross international borders.

Now you just have to hope the in-flight turbulence won’t splatter stuffing juice all over your carry-on. Pack wisely.

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