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Can You Bring Pizza On A Plane?

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

 

Bringing Pizza On A Plane

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

Carry-On Baggage:

Yes

Checked Luggage:

Yes

 

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

Carry-On Baggage:

Yes*

Checked Luggage:

Yes*

 

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

 

 

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

Carry-On or Checked Luggage:

 No in many cases (see below)

 

 

How Long Will Pizza Last In Your Luggage?

Pizza – homemade or takeout

2 hours at room temperature

 

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

 

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

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

Yes, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will allow you to bring pizza through airport security in your carry-on baggage. Practically every type of pizza is fine, including both deep dish pizza and regular pizza with meat or vegetarian toppings. You can bring a whole pizza or slices of pizza through the TSA checkpoint and both homemade and takeout pizza are allowed. If the pizza isn’t already pre-packaged, it should be wrapped or placed in a container with a secure lid. There is no limit to the quantity of pizza you can bring in your carry-on: You can pack as much pizza as you’d like and will fit into your allowable hand luggage.

 

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

 

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

Yes, you can bring pizza in your checked baggage when boarding a flight within the United States. You can bring as much pizza as you’d like in your allowable checked luggage. To prevent pizza from getting crushed, pack it in sturdy containers with tight-fitting lids. Since cooked pizza is perishable, you should pack it along with some ice or a frozen gel pack to keep it cold throughout the trip.

 

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

Yes, you can bring pizza on an international flight departing from the U.S. — but depending on where you’re going, you may not be able to bring the pizza off the plane once you arrive at your destination.

If your intention is to bring the pizza onto the plane in your carry-on baggage and eat it during the flight, you’ll have no issues. The TSA applies the same rules for allowing pizza through security at U.S. airports, whether you are flying domestically or internationally.

But taking the pizza off the plane and bringing it into a foreign country is a different matter. The rules around bringing in food items that contain meat, poultry and fresh produce can be strict in many countries. Be sure to check your foreign destination’s rules before leaving.

 

BRINGING PIZZA INTO THE UNITED STATES

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

In many cases, the answer is no. The United States has strict rules about allowing travelers to bring in food items that contain meat or poultry. So if your pizza has toppings like pepperoni, bacon, sausage, chicken or ham, it likely won’t be permitted. A pizza with no meat, poultry or fresh vegetable toppings will typically be allowed.  

Note also that 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 PIZZA LAST IN YOUR LUGGAGE?

Freshly made pizza can be kept safely for about 2 hours at room temperature. You can bring ice or a frozen gel pack to keep it cold. 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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