These 5 Expert Takeaways on TSA's Rules for Food Will Make You Very Happy

One of Anthony Bourdain's most famous lines came from his star-making book Kitchen Confidential. He wrote, "Your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride." This illustrative, rebellious sentiment embodies his perspective on travel and food—and that lesson lives on in anyone who taste-tests their way through the markets of Tokyo and Paris, or grabs a seat at an institution in London or New York City. It also counts toward those who try a local treat somewhere in Sydney or Lima, too. Usually, eating your way through a destination is as important as seeing its most renowned sights.

But that stomach-driven adventure can come to a halt if you're unsure about what you're allowed to bring through airport security on your journey home. Can you wrap up fresh pasta from Rome? What's the consensus on steaks from Buenos Aires? Do the same rules apply for vodka from Moscow?

Before you leave your culinary souvenirs behind, consider researching the TSA's rules for food as you pack. "The TSA actually allows most food through security checkpoints, even when in a carry-on," says Brendan Dorsey, associate editor at The Points Guy. "It'll be easier to pack non-frozen items and avoid bringing spreads, like cream cheese or jam, in containers larger than 3.4 ounces. If a frozen item melts and there is liquid in its container, it will not be allowed through a TSA security checkpoint."

Dorsey notes that almost no foods or liquids are explicitly banned on airplanes. "It's just the size of liquids you can bring through a TSA security checkpoint that is regulated," he says. "The TSA even says you can bring a live lobster through security."

Now that you're probably imagining all of the different foods you can lug home from faraway places, we asked Dorsey to provide more information on the TSA's rules for food. Once you've reviewed his thoughts, feel free to connect Bourdain's advice from your travels to your home.