In a telebriefing held last Thursday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) warned against traveling to visit relatives and friends this Thanksgiving and holiday season and urged those with possible coronavirus symptoms or other illnesses to stay home. For those who did decide to travel, the health agency recommended doing so "as safely as possible," which includes wearing a mask while in public, maintaining social distancing and washing hands often with soap and water.
Now, as Thanksgiving has come and gone, those who flew -- while adhering to CDC's recommendation for safe travel -- may be wondering how they're going to get all these leftovers back home.
The Transportation Security Administration issued a travel notice last Monday denoting which Thanksgiving dishes can be carried through security checkpoints and which dishes need to be checked-in baggage -- which is helpful for deciding which leftovers to bring with you, and which to leave behind.
"Whether first-run foods or leftovers, the same rules apply. If you are planning to travel with special foods to contribute to a Thanksgiving meal or travel with leftovers, be sure you follow this simple rule to ensure your food can travel with you: If you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it or pour it and it is in a quantity greater than 3.4 ounces, pack it in a checked bag. For example, jams, jellies, cranberry sauce, gravy or beverages in quantities larger than 3.4 ounces should go in a checked bag. Cakes, cookies, pies, meats, casseroles and other solids can travel in carry-on luggage in unlimited quantities," the TSA said in a statement to Fox News.
- Homemade or store-bought baked goods
- Frozen, cooked or uncooked meats
- Mac ‘n Cheese cooked in a pan
- Fresh vegetables
- Fresh fruits
Each airline passenger is allowed to pack a quart-sized bag of liquids, aerosols, gels, creams and pastes in a single carry-on bag, however, individual containers cannot exceed 3.4 ounces. This rule extends to beverages, spreads and cooking sprays.
The TSA recommends packing away any liquid-like substance in a bag that will checked-in. If travelers manage to find a liquid cooking essential that fits under the 3.4-ounce container threshold, it can be placed inside a clear quart-sized resalable bag within your carry-on bag.
Alcoholic beverages containing an alcohol content of more than 70% (more than 140 proof) are forbidden in carry-on and checked baggage, according to the TSA and Federal Aviation Administration, a TSA spokesperson told Fox News.
- Homemade or canned cranberry sauce
- Homemade or packaged gravy (jar/can)
- Wine, champagne or sparking apple cider
- Canned fruit or vegetables
- Preserves, jams or jellies
- Maple syrup
Almost every solid food item is permissible as a carry-on or checked article, including cooked, uncooked or store-bought meals and powders. For foods that require refrigeration or freezing to prevent foodborne illness, ice packs are allowed but they must be frozen solid and not melted by the time you reach a TSA checkpoint.
On longer flights, dry ice can be used but it cannot exceed 5.5 pounds per passenger and the packaging should be clearly marked and vented according to FAA procedures, the TSA’s spokesperson told Fox News.
Flammable items are not permitted in carry-on or checked baggage for safety reasons. Not even cake sparklers are allowed on flights, which are under the same category as fireworks, according to the FAA.
A six-page list of permitted food items is available on the TSA’s dedicated “What Can I Bring?” webpage tool. Travelers can also type their items into the search bar to find out which foods can be carried on or need to be checked in.
Last but not least, to ensure you have an easier time getting your Thanksgiving food through checkpoints, the TSA recommends using clear plastics bags and similar containers, so items can be safely removed from carry-on bags when inspection time comes.
Fox News' Alexandria Hein contributed to this report.