TSA Posts Video of Frozen Raw Chicken Spotted on Baggage Carousel to Remind Passengers How to Properly Pack Meat

Why did the chicken cross the baggage carousel?

The Transportation Security Administration's now-deleted post on Instagram was definitely a personal "fowl" of a passenger who was traveling with raw chicken meat.

The post, a video of a tightly-packed, frozen cube of poultry on the baggage claim conveyor belt at a Seattle airport, served as a teachable moment for travelers — how to properly pack meat.

"We hear at one time these wings and thighs were cooped up in a cooler," the post that has since been removed read. "Somewhere between baggage and the carousel they became free range."

Although it's unclear how the chickens were able to "flee the coop," the TSA suspected it was a packaging issue.

"Our understanding is that it fell out of a cooler behind the block of chicken (and you can see the chicken is still in cooler shape)," a spokesperson for the agency told Newsweek at the time. "Our guess is that the owner did not think about the lid coming open and did not tape it securely enough."

Conveyor belt airport
Sellwell/Getty Images

According to TSA rules, passengers are allowed to travel with fresh meat and seafood in both your carry-on and checked luggage — under a few conditions.

"If the food is packed with ice or ice packs in a cooler or other container, the ice or ice packs must be completely frozen when brought through screening," the TSA website reads. "If the ice or ice packs are partially melted and have any liquid at the bottom of the container, they will not be permitted."

Frozen perishables are also allowed in both carry-on and checked bags when packed in dry ice. However, federal aviation regulations limit each traveler to five pounds of dry ice that must be properly packaged and marked.

Although the raw chicken sighting is certainly egg-septional, it's far from the only unusual item that TSA officers have spotted at airports recently. Last year, the TSA confiscated a dead shark floating in a jar of liquid chemical preservatives. Interestingly, it wasn't the shark that was the problem, but the liquid it was in.

Travelers are allowed to bring live fish on their flights, as long as they are swimming in water and the water undergoes a separate security screening by a TSA agent.

Cailey Rizzo is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure, currently based in Brooklyn. You can find her on Twitter, Instagram, or at caileyrizzo.com.

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