One cannot blame the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) for the rules and regulations set for items that passengers take with them on a plane, whether in their carry-on bags or in their checked luggage. There are outrageous methods people think about when it comes to transporting random stuff through airport security. Some of them are so crazy, they may have thought it just might work. This is the reason why TSA rules and regulations could seem as crazy, but that’s just how one fights it, crazy with crazy. Crazy or not, these rules are still for the passengers’ benefit and safety. The least we can do is abide by them.
On this note, we present you with a list of food items that are so weird that they are prohibited on airplanes almost everywhere in the world. Some food that we never thought would pose a problem for us when it comes to security, but it turns out, we’d have to leave them there or consume them right in front of the security officer. And then there are some that, in principle, should have never been allowed, but weirdly, they aren’t. Sometimes we will never understand the basis of these rules and regulations on what we can or cannot bring with us on the plane.
20 We Cannot Take: Snails
Escargot is a weird dish no matter how much the French love it. If we’ve been to France and fell in love with the dish, good news. We can take them with us in our carry-ons heading home if they’re cooked. But if one plans to bring live snails and fly them home, that is a different story. These slow and slimy creatures are banned for importation, especially those Giant African Snails. Big snails that grow up to 7 inches, they cannot be transported into the United States for reasons that safeguard the safety of plant life and even animal life, including us, in the country.
19 We Cannot Take: Rice
White, brown, or whatever color it is, rice is a tricky food item when it comes to airport security. Cooked rice is not a problem unless it is accompanied with liquid food. The issue with rice is that when it comes to non-commercial portions, meaning if someone is bringing like a few pounds of it with them in the airplane, it most definitely will go through further inspection. What they are trying to avoid is the possibility of the rice carrying with it khapra beetles. They would want to know for a fact that the rice is not from countries where khapra beetles are a known pest. These insects infest stored grain and other stored food and are known to devastate up to 75 percent of crops.
18 We Cannot Take: Horse Meat
A hoofed animal is usually known for providing us meat. Pigs, sheep, goats, and of course, cattle. But the horse, can one ever dream of eating such a handsome animal? There are countries that eat horse meat like it’s any other regular meat out there, but not the United States. Not an ordinary kind of meat, horse meat would have to have proper documentation and certification from the place of origin. A kind of proof that it is free from diseases like foot and mouth disease. Even cooked horse meat would still be subject to further scrutiny, so say no to taking home this kind of meat.
17 We Cannot Take: Canned Food
Normally, properly packaged food items are allowed through airport security. More often than not, a canned food item will get past inspection. But do not put all your cards on that statement just yet. Some canned food, with the proper labels and product identifications, could be subject to a deeper check. Sometimes these things may look wrong on an x-ray screen, authorities may be forced to open them, or worse, confiscate them. When bringing these kinds of food with you, make sure that what’s inside is really what it says on the outside of the can. There have been instances where illegal products were attempted to be smuggled via canned products.
16 We Cannot Take: Moonshine
Keeping a jar of moonshine in your carry on is not a good idea. Also, know that this scenario sounds like a bad sequel to an already bad movie version of Dukes of Hazzard. Moonshine is a potent drink. This kind of whiskey is clear and looks just like water, but it usually has a 75 percent alcohol content. That makes it an item that will never get past airport security? FAA regulation stipulates that alcohols with more than 70 percent alcohol content are prohibited. Having them in mini-bottles less than 100ml would not work either.
15 We Cannot Take: Ostrich Egg
Ostrich eggs are not like regular eggs, the shell is hard and tough and we advise against eating one whole egg for breakfast. Regular poultry is now good through airport security. Weird, gigantic and ultra-hard eggs are a different story. Most ostrich eggs that fly, or try to, to the United States are ornamental and purely for decorative purposes. Imagine a huge Easter egg, clutched by a person like a baby. It would also take all the space in one’s shoulder bag, if it would fit inside, that is. The liquid content of the inside of an ostrich egg is definitely more than 100 ml, thus, prohibited.
14 We Cannot Take: Bushmeat
Bushmeat is a strange thing. These are meats from assorted African wildlife. When we say wildlife, we mean any creature crawling and creeping into the lands of Africa. They are not aesthetically pleasing, but with poverty-stricken countries in Africa, this is one source of protein. Weird meat from any kind of animal stuck together like they’re just regular meat is not a palatable sight, and most probably are disease-borne and infected meat. Cure it or dry it or make it into powders or bouillon, if it came from African wildlife, it is banned. Game meat or wild meat, whatever one may call it, it is still not allowed.
13 We Cannot Take: Pork Rinds
A very popular delicacy in some countries, pork rinds, may not get past security in the United States. It’s such a shame because if one asks anybody who’s tasted pork rinds, they would say it is one of the best delicacies they’ve ever tried. These are essentially pork skins, but the best ones are skin and meat, deep fried in oil and cooked to a crisp, seasoned perfectly, would best any kind of jerky out there. Unfortunately, because of pigs and their way of life, a disease is more of a certainty, especially if not cared for properly. These diseases, like African Swine Fever, Swine Vesicular Disease, and many others, make the delicious pork rinds a banned food product.
12 We Cannot Take: Some Cheese
Cheese in the liquid such as ricotta or cottage cheese and heavy cream that pours like a liquid is not allowed entry from countries that have the foot-and-mouth disease (FMD). Meat with cheese inside is also not allowed depending on the country from which it originated.
If your cheese is not solid, and you don’t really know where it came from, and if it looks kind of weird, we suggest to leave it behind and not carry it with you anymore, no matter how tasty it is. If they’re really that good, chances are you’ll find it in your own city.
11 We Cannot Take: Dried Citrus
A simple fruit, like an apple or an orange, would easily get past security in an airport. Dried citrus is weirdly not allowed to enter the United States. This is the same situation with citrus leaves as well. Fruits like barberry and coca, and even just the leaves of a citrus fruit will get confiscated, and probably burned right away. There are citrus diseases, bacteriosis, and other kinds of disease that are carried by fruit flies that settle in citrus leaves. When going back home, do not pick up any dried citrus or leaves because you’ll have to leave it behind. An apple will quench your fruit needs just as well.
10 It's Allowed: Live Fish
Bringing live fish on an airplane is weird, but the TSA allows this. This is limited to fish that are used for personal consumption, some people would like to have their fish as fresh as possible, so they bring it with them and fly them over sea, land, and air, alive and breathing in water. Bringing a companion fish seems to be allowed, too, since they will let live fish for personal consumption through security, it’s only logical and fair to have a pet fish accompany you in your flight. Just make sure the fish are comfortable and are not in glass or breakable containers, you know, turbulence and all.
9 It's Allowed: Cake
Kinky cakes are those naughty novelty cakes that are normally the centerpiece to a bachelorette or stag party buffet spread. Weird, sometimes distasteful from the looks of it, is that a… what? Together with the regular-looking ones, these cakes are all allowed in the cabin of a plane. But some airlines would only say yes if the cake fits in the overhead compartment. So think twice, not only about tying the knot but also when flying a tiered wedding cake with you, it might not work out (the relationship, we mean). More importantly, the cake could get destroyed if they’re too big.
8 It's Allowed: Coconuts
Out of all the items on this list, coconuts are the most abused by traffickers. There have been plenty enough news that we have seen where these sneaky people chose the coconut as their cover for trying to smuggle contraband in airplanes. If you don’t know yet, these are fruits, not giant nuts. The inside of a coconut has some liquid in it, and it’s definitely more than 100 ml. So it’s weird they are allowed on planes. But of course, these are fruits, and that liquid inside is natural. Perhaps that’s the reason why most smugglers use coconuts, but what they did not expect is how trained and how keen the eyes of the authorities are.
7 It's Allowed: Formula
Mom and baby in an airplane is not a rare sight, that means the baby formula is also kind of common. With proper preparations and by following the guidelines set, there should be no issue bringing baby formula onboard a plane. They should at least be separate from the other things in your carry on bag, in a clear case and clear containers, and a baby or child is not required when bringing formula. Some people might think they cannot bring it with them alone as it may become an issue, but no it will not be. Just call ahead or check the TSA website for the correct procedures.
6 It's Allowed: Lobster
Exactly like the live fish in an earlier item, lobsters can be transported through the air and even in your carry-on bags. How weird is it to sit next to someone who’s got a Sebastian with them. Those claws could be dangerous, so have them tied up if you’re planning to bring one on board a plane. Please also put the lobster in a container so that it won’t go running around the cabin and start a musical number. If you haven’t got it by this time, you never will, Sebastian is the lobster friend of Ariel in Disney’s The Little Mermaid.
5 It's Allowed: Powdered Food
Certain items, especially food items, when in powder or powder-like form, could easily look like contraband. This is the reason why the TSA is clamping down on the matter of powdered food. But not to worry, these are allowed in airplanes, just follow the instructions and what the authorities will ask you to do. If we are bringing powdered food that’s more than 350 ml, we should take it out of the bag and put it in a separate bin. They might ask to open it, but definitely, they will ask questions, so just answer them and you’ll be on your way no problems whatsoever.
4 It's Allowed: Durian Fruit
Some fruits are common enough to get past airport security. But there are weird-looking, strangely shaped, and pungent fruits that should be banned altogether. The durian fruit (looks like a jackfruit) is a popular fruit in the southeast Asian countries, not only for its taste but also for its smell. It smells like poop, to be honest. But it’s really delicious and has a very strong flavor. Locals say that if you eat enough of it, it might get you drunk. Please pack them properly when you bring them with you on the plane, make sure that smell doesn't linger, the person next to you may smell it and think something else about you.
3 It's Allowed: Dried Squid
The rules about prohibited food in airplanes seem to lean in favor of seafood. Live fish and live lobster stroll through security without a fuss, then there’s squid as well. We don’t know about live squid, there is no information available about it, perhaps the TSA has not encountered someone bringing live squid onboard a plane. But dried squid is allowed on planes. They are weird-looking delicacies that are dried in the sun and wrapped and sold per pound in the market. These are a popular food in the east and southeast Asia, bring them with you on the plane, it’s all good.
2 It's Allowed: Sausages
Long, short, fat, small ones, sausages come in all shapes and sizes. There are even sausages that don’t really look like sausages. Weird things that we would never dream of eating, even if Gordon Ramsay cooks and serves it to us. Some smell bad, some are so big they could be used as a bludgeon, and they would hurt, too. But most are regular-sized sausages that we all know and love to eat. These food items are allowed on planes, just be ready for inspection, especially if you are bringing those sausages that are not the common size, smell, color, and texture.
1 It's Allowed: Venison
Good meals normally have a proper, delicious protein as the entree. Venison is one elegant protein and this kind of meat is allowed through on airplanes. Weird, right? This is because is not as dirty and do not carry diseases like the other animals in this list. Just pack them neatly in coolers, freeze them in dry ice, and make sure that inspection would go smoothly if needed. Don’t wrap the meat like you don’t want anyone looking inside and checking what they are, it just might arouse their curiosity. Label the meat clearly and make sure they’re easy to check and easy to re-seal if opened and inspected.