Peanut butter enthusiasts, here’s a reminder: Don’t take an entire jar of nut butter to the airport.
The Transportation Security Administration cautioned travelers this week that peanut butter is, in fact, considered a liquid, restating its long-standing policy on the spread’s restrictions in the security line.
The agency has upheld this policy since about 2006, after a traveler tried to carry on liquid explosives in a soda bottle, TSA spokeswoman Patricia Mancha said.
Last week, a podcaster and blogger brought the issue surrounding peanut butter back to light.
“I tried to take peanut butter through airport security,” Patrick Neve tweeted. “TSA: Sorry, no liquids, gels, or aerosols. Me: I want you to tell me which of those things you think peanut butter is.”
I tried to take peanut butter through airport security.— Patrick Neve (@catholicpat) March 15, 2023
TSA: Sorry, no liquids, gels, or aerosols.
Me: I want you to tell me which of those things you think peanut butter is.
So how does the government agency define a liquid?
In a follow-up tweet, the TSA said a liquid — such as peanut butter — “has no definite shape and takes a shape dictated by its container.”
If you can spill it, spread it, pour it or pump it, you are limited to 3.4 ounces, Mancha added.
You may not be nuts about it, but TSA considers your PB a liquid. In carry-on, it needs to be 3.4oz or less. Make sure all your travel-sized liquids fit in one quart-sized bag. #PeanutButter pic.twitter.com/4RzDv3Up7B— TSA (@TSA) March 21, 2023
Any other “liquid” items that you should think twice about before packing in your carry-on? Toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner and lotion all fall into this category. Additionally, makeup products including mascara, nail polish, nail polish remover, concealer and foundation are considered liquids.
Breastmilk, baby formula and baby food are exempt from the TSA’s liquid rule.
As a reminder, if you really can’t depart with your beloved nut butter, you’re still allowed to pack a container in your carry-on — so long as it’s less than 3.4 ounces. That may be enough to spread over your emergency, on-the-go airplane toast.
“A traveler can carry as many peanuts as they can carry in their carry-on luggage,” Mancha said in an email. “Once they become peanut butter the traveler is limited to 3.4 oz containers in a one-quart clear plastic bag.”