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Shelf Talk

Can You Bring Salsa On A Plane?

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

 

Bringing Salsa On A Plane

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

Carry-On Baggage:

Yes – but limit of 3.4 ounces (100 ml) allowed through airport security

Checked Luggage:

Yes

 

 

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

Carry-On Baggage:

Yes – but limit of 3.4 ounces (100 ml) allowed through airport security*

Checked Luggage:

Yes*

 

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

 

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

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

 Yes in most cases (see below)

 

 

How Long Will Salsa Last In Your Luggage?

Salsa, sold refrigerated:

- unopened or opened package:

 

-2 hours at room temperature

Salsa, sold unrefrigerated:

 -commercially packaged, opened

 

-2 hours at room temperature

 

- commercially packaged, unopened

-12 to 18 months at room temperature

 

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

 

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

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

Yes, you can bring salsa through airport security, but only in limited quantities. Salsa 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 buy salsa 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 salsa — any size is allowable at this point — and bring it on board with you in your hand luggage.

 

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

Yes, you can bring salsa 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 salsa as you’d like in your allowable checked luggage. To avoid spillage, be sure the salsa is tightly sealed and then overwrap the jar with heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap, or place the jar inside a heavy-duty freezer bag. To help prevent breakage, roll the jar inside a thick, washable garment or towel. For salsa that needs to be kept refrigerated, pack it along with some ice or a frozen gel pack to keep it cold throughout the trip.

 

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

Yes, you can bring salsa 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 salsa onto the plane in your carry-on baggage and consume it during the flight, you’ll have no issues. The TSA applies the same rules for allowing salsa through security at U.S. airports, whether you are flying domestically or internationally. And as noted above, you can also buy salsa once you have passed through airport security and bring it on the plane with you.

You can also bring salsa into many foreign countries. But depending on the country, it may have to be commercially packaged, shelf stable, and unopened. Be sure to check your foreign destination’s rules before leaving.

 

BRINGING SALSA INTO THE UNITED STATES

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

The United States generally allows travelers to bring vacuum-packed jars of salsa into the U.S. when arriving on a flight from a foreign country. Fresh salsa, on the other hand, is typically prohibited.

Note that even if the salsa 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. 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 SALSA LAST IN YOUR LUGGAGE?

Salsa that was purchased unrefrigerated will generally keep well for about 18 months if unopened and stored at room temperature. Once opened, it will usually stay safe for 2 hours at room temperature.

Salsa that was purchased refrigerated, whether unopened or opened, will usually remain safe for 2 hours when stored at room temperature. You can bring ice or a frozen gel pack to keep the salsa 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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