Can You Bring Canned Food On A Plane? (through TSA)

credit: Yay

Whether you are concerned about getting stranded on an island somewhere or simply want to take pantry-item foods to your destination, it has to get passed the TSA when traveling by flight. Here is what you should know about bringing canned food on a plane.

The TSA permits canned food on a plane and recommends packing it in checked luggage. Canned foods are typically more than 3.4 oz/100 ml and contain liquid content, which is not allowed in carry-ons. If it does not exceed that amount, like a can of tuna, it is permitted in hand luggage but may require additional screening.

Can You Bring Frozen Food On A Plane?
What Food Can You Bring on an Airplane?

Can You Take Canned Food On A Flight?

Passengers are permitted to carry canned food on the plane in checked luggage. Canned foods have significant amounts of liquid and should be packed in your checked bags. All types of canned foods are allowed, but they should be sealed well and packed appropriately.

Avoid placing your canned goods on the sides of your suitcase, specifically if you don’t have hard-shelled luggage. Checked baggage often gets handled aggressively and could get dented or cut through if it knocks against any sharp objects in your bag.

Always wrap or place your canned food in plastic to be mess-proof and prevent the food from getting on your other items in your checked luggage. There is no limit to how much-canned goods you can take on a plane in your checked baggage.

Can You Take Canned Food In Hand Luggage?

The TSA allows passengers to bring canned food in carry-on luggage, but there are specific restrictions and guidelines that you must follow:

  • It must correlate with the TSA liquid rule. That means it will not be permitted if the can is more than 3.4 oz or 100 ml – as canned food typically is.
  • If you manage to take small cans of food that are under 3.4 oz or 100 ml, it may require additional screening. That is because it is difficult to see what is inside a can. If a solution is not found with the TSA agents, they will not allow the cans through.
  • If you take canned food like a tin of tuna or beans and safely pass through security checkpoints, you cannot open and eat the food on the plane.
  • Since most canned foods contain liquid inside, even tiny cans, it is best to pack them in your checked luggage instead of hand baggage to avoid issues or delays at airport security.
  • The TSA states that regardless of the canned food allowance, the final decision lies with the TSA personnel at security checkpoints. If the agents find an issue with your canned goods, they may confiscate them for safety measures.
  • Canned food can be relatively heavy, especially if you take several tins in your bag. Ensure that your carry-on does not exceed the weight allowance for your luggage if you pack canned goods inside.

Can You Eat Canned Food On The Plane?

While it is recommended that passengers avoid taking canned food in carry-on bags to the cabin of the plane, it is allowed, and sometimes particular tin food gets through security without issues.

Albeit getting your canned food through to the plane in your carry-on bag, you will not be allowed to eat it on the flight. The edges of the tins are sharp and dangerous, so you cannot open them on the plane as a safety precaution.

Additionally, many can foods that are allowed in carry-on bags, like tuna, have a smell that can be disturbing to the flight attendants and other passengers. Canned food can also be messy, and you won’t have anywhere to discard it if you don’t finish the contents.

Can You Carry Canned Drinks On A Plane?

Canned drinks, like canned food, are permitted on planes by the TSA. Passengers should pack all canned beverages in checked baggage. You are only allowed liquids equal to or less than 3.4 oz or 100 ml in carry-on bags, even if it is sealed canned drinks.

Can You Take Sealed Jars Of Pickle On A Plane?

Sealed jars of pickles and other jar foods like preserved meats are also treated as canned foods. These food items follow the same guidelines as canned goods. You can pack as many as you want in checked luggage. Bubble wrap your glass jars to keep them from breaking.

Sealed pickle jars are permitted in your carry-on bag, but if there is liquid content, it cannot exceed 3.4 oz or 100 ml. If you remove the liquid contents before passing through security, you will be permitted to take it on the plane.

If you carry Indian spicy pickles (like achaar or something with chilies), there is a possibility it may get treated as a dangerous item for flights. You could compare it to carrying pepper spray to understand why but maybe sealing it really well will avoid possible issues.

Can Canned Food Explode On A Plane?

Canned foods are unlikely to explode on the plane. Many canned goods are vacuum sealed and can handle pressure gradients without concern. If you are worried, place your canned good in plastic bags so if there are any explosions, the mess will be contained.

Canned drinks like beers or soda are also strong enough to handle the altitude pressure so they will not explode, but again, place them in sealed plastic bags if you are genuinely concerned.

Is Vacuum Sealed Food Allowed On A Plane?

Passengers can carry vacuum-sealed foods on a plane in checked and hand luggage. They must be placed in a cooler to keep them from going bad, especially on a long flight or journey. It is also recommended to keep them in checked bags instead of carry-ons.

Meats and hard cheeses are solid food, so they are permitted in hand luggage, but the TSA and various airlines mention that if they trigger a warning during screening, the bags will have to be opened. If that happens, you will lose your food.

Because of the TSA liquid rule, you cannot take vacuum-sealed liquid items unless they do not exceed 3.4 oz or 100 ml. Vacuum-sealed liquid items are not common, but it is essential to note, given you were thinking about getting something through.

Can You Take Canned Food Internationally?

While canned foods are allowed on most airlines domestically within the US and internationally, it is important to check for any restrictions and guidelines before packing. Some countries like Canada, the UK, and the EU don’t allow certain meat products, fruit, and vegetables.

Taking food into the United States from International countries is allowed; however, it must be declared. Even canned food items that don’t seem like an issue must be claimed. Canada follows the same protocol for the food it allows into the country.

Even if you are not sure what the specific items include, for example, whether there is meat or dairy in the canned goods, it is best to say yes regardless. That way, they will go through and check your food items.

If you have a product that is banned or prohibited, they can confiscate it, and you will lose your items. But if you don’t declare the food and they find it, you will face grief and likely be fined or accused of smuggling something into the country.