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Can You Bring Milk On A Plane?

Can you bring milk on an airplane? Are the rules different for domestic and international flights? And just how long will milk remain safe to eat when packed in your luggage? Read on for the answers.

 

Bringing Milk On A Plane

Can You Bring Milk on Domestic Flights Within the U.S.A.?

Carry-On Baggage:

Yes – limit of 3.4 ounces allowed through airport security, except for infants and toddlers (see below)

Checked Luggage:

Yes

 

 

Can You Bring Milk on International Flights Originating in the U.S.A?

Carry-On Baggage:

Yes – limit of 3.4 ounces allowed through airport security, except for infants and toddlers (see below)*

Checked Luggage:

Yes*

 

*You can bring milk on board and consume it during the flight. But you might not be able to bring milk into your foreign destination (see details below).

 

Can You Bring Milk Into The U.S.A. on an International Flight?

Can you bring milk into the U.S.A.?

 No in most cases (see below)

 

 

How Long Will Milk Last In Your Luggage?

Milk – unopened or opened package:

-2 hours at room temperature

Milk, shelf stable, sold unrefrigerated

- opened package:

- unopened package:

 

-2 hours at room temperature

-Several months at room temperature

 

Sources: Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, StillTasty.com

 

BRINGING MILK ON A PLANE: FLIGHTS ORIGINATING IN THE U.S.A.

Can you bring milk through airport security in your carry-on baggage?

Yes — but unless you’re travelling with an infant or toddler, you can only bring milk through airport security in quantities of 3.4 ounces or less. Milk falls under the Transportation Security Administration’s “3-1-1 liquids rule”, which requires that all liquids and gels in your carry-on luggage be stored in 3.4-ounce (100 ml) or smaller containers — all of which must fit into one quart-sized plastic bag. 

 

Read more: Here are the foods you can bring through airport security

 

Can you bring milk on a plane for a baby or a toddler?  

Yes, the TSA makes an exception to its liquids rule for passengers who are travelling with an infant or a toddler (defined by the TSA as a child who receives assistance in walking by an adult). You can bring milk intended for infants and toddlers through airport security in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces and you do not need to place the milk within a quart-sized plastic bag. You’ll need to remove the milk from your carry-on bag to be screened separately by TSA agents.

 

Can you buy milk in the airport after you have passed through airport security and bring it onto the plane?

Yes, once you have passed through the TSA checkpoint and are in the secure area of the airport, you can purchase milk — any size is allowable at this point — and bring it on board with you in your hand luggage.

 

Can you bring milk on an airplane in your checked baggage?

Yes, you can bring milk in your checked baggage when boarding a flight within the United States. And unlike the case with carry-on baggage, you can bring as much milk as you’d like in your allowable checked luggage. To avoid spillage, place the milk in a tightly sealed container and then overwrap it with heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap, or place the sealed container inside a heavy-duty freezer bag. Since milk is perishable, pack it along with some ice or a frozen gel pack to keep it cold throughout the trip.

 

Can you bring milk on an international flight leaving the U.S.A.?

Yes, you can bring milk on an international flight departing from the U.S., either in your carry-on baggage or your checked luggage. If your intention is to bring the milk onto the plane in your carry-on baggage and drink it during the flight, you’ll have no issues. The TSA applies the same rules for allowing milk through security at U.S. airports, whether you are flying domestically or internationally. And as noted above, you can also buy milk once you have passed through airport security and bring it on the plane with you.

But taking the milk off the plane and bringing it into a foreign country is a different matter. The rules around bringing in dairy products can be strict in many countries. Be sure to check your foreign destination’s rules before leaving.

 

BRINGING MILK INTO THE UNITED STATES

Can you bring milk on an international flight back into the U.S.A.?

In most cases, the answer is no. The United States has strict rules about allowing travelers to bring in milk from foreign countries. The exception to this rule is when you are travelling with infants or toddlers; in that case, you can generally bring in a small quantity of milk for their consumption.

Note that even if the milk is allowed, you must declare all foods that you bring into the United States — whether they are allowable or not —  to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and permit them to be inspected by a CBP agent. This can be a time-consuming process. The penalties for failing to declare your food items can be steep; bear in mind also that the CBP routinely conducts random screenings for arriving passengers.

 

FOOD SAFETY: HOW LONG WILL MILK LAST IN YOUR LUGGAGE?

Milk will usually remain safe to drink for about 2 hours when stored at room temperature, whether opened or unopened. Milk that was sold unrefrigerated will keep for many months at room temperature while unopened. Once it has been opened, however, it will only remain safe to drink for about 2 hours when stored at room temperature.

You can bring ice or a frozen gel pack to keep milk cooler longer. But ice or gel packs in your carry-on luggage must be completely frozen when passing through airport security — if they are even partially thawed, the TSA screeners will likely bring them from you.

 

 

Note: While the above information is based on applicable Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) guidelines at the time of publication, the final decision for whether to allow a food item through airport security or into the United States rests with the TSA and CBP officers on duty at the airport. Regulations also change frequently: For the latest information, check the US Customs and Border Protection and Transportation Security Administration websites.

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