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Holiday travel tips | What you can and cannot bring on a plane

TSA says it's important to think about how you'll transport food when visiting family or friends during the holidays.
Credit: Getty Images

DES MOINES, Iowa — Note: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend staying home to limit the spread of COVID-19. Travel guidance from the CDC can be found by clicking/tapping here

Learn what precautions the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is taking by clicking/tapping here.

Folks planning to travel for the holiday season need to know which foods can be carried through TSA checkpoints in a carry-on and what needs to be packed in checked baggage.

TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein told Local 5 most foods can be carried through a checkpoint.

"So if it's a solid, definitely you can bring that on an airplane," Farbstein said. "If it's not a solid, if it's something you can spill spread spray pump or pour, it should go into your checked bag."

So casseroles and turkeys can go in your carry-on, but things like canned cranberry sauce or wine should go in your check bag.

"If you're traveling with your cranberry sauce, whether it's in the can or jar or your homemade recipe, again, the can may be solid, the container may be solid, but it is something can be spread," Farbstein added. 

"It's pourable, it's considered a liquid."

"Now, if you want to make your cranberry sauce or when you get to your destination and you want to bring your bag of cranberries with you, that's just fine you can do that bring those with you. That's fine. They are solid."

Travelers who aren't sure of how they should pack their food can use the TSA's "What can I bring?" tool to check how their food should be packed.

Here's a list of Thanksgiving foods approved to be carried through a checkpoint:

  • Baked goods. Homemade or store-bought pies, cakes, cookies, brownies and other sweet treats
  • Meats. Turkey, chicken, ham, steak. Frozen, cooked or uncooked
  • Stuffing. Cooked, uncooked, in a box or in a bag
  • Casseroles. Traditional green beans and onion straws or something more exotic
  • Mac ‘n Cheese. Cooked in a pan or traveling with the ingredients to cook it at your destination,
  • Fresh vegetables. Potatoes, yams, broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, beets, radishes, carrots, squash, greens
  • Fresh fruit. Apples, pears, pineapple, lemons, limes, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, kiwi 
  • Candy.
  • Spices.

Here's a list of Thanksgiving foods that should be packed with checked baggage:

  • Cranberry sauce. Homemade or canned are spreadable, so check them.
  • Gravy. Homemade or in a jar/can.
  • Wine, champagne, sparking apple cider.
  • Canned fruit or vegetables. It’s got liquid in the can, so check them.
  • Preserves, jams and jellies. They are spreadable, so best to check them.
  • Maple syrup.

TSA officials also want travelers to know how to keep their food safe while traveling. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration and Department of Agriculture on how to keep food safe for eating.