TSA Says Peanut Butter Is a Liquid — and Confusion on Twitter Ensues

Travelers on social media have some follow up questions.

Peanut Butter

Getty Images

A packing reminder from the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) may be driving the internet ‘nuts.’

After the official Twitter account for the TSA recently shared a tip that they consider peanut butter to be a liquid — and must be in a container that is 3.4oz or less — social media users had some questions.

The tweet set off a humorous thread of replies from travelers who were surprised that the item would be considered a liquid.

One person shared, “Liquids are pourable, peanut butter is not pourable.. it’s more of a gel, which is a spreadable substance.” 

Another social media user asked, "does this same rule apply to chunky peanut butter?"

Several people added stories where they had to discard a container of peanut butter that they attempted to bring through the screening checkpoint. A standard container of peanut butter is 15.5 oz, which is larger than the 3.4 oz limit for liquids. 

The TSA doubled-down and defended their stance that peanut butter is a liquid, and even added a subsequent tweet that queso cheese dip is also a liquid.

When asked whether peanut butter spread on a sandwich would also considered a liquid, the official TSA Twitter account replied, “Solid foods, including peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, are allowed in carry-on bags with no quantity limitations or packing requirements.” 

When it comes to food that passengers can and cannot fly with, items include other liquid and creamy foods such as olive oil and salsa are actually liquids, and if the size is larger than 3.4 oz, they will not be permitted through the TSA screening process. 

The TSA also regularly updates their website with information on whether a food or item is allowed through screening. 

The TSA’s Twitter account has previously garnered attention for the unique discoveries they have found in passenger bags during screenings. Last year, a live cat was discovered to be hiding in a suitcase, and an agent recently discovered a cane that had a hidden sword

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles