Airport security is notoriously annoying, but travelers put up with the removal of shoes, belts, sweaters, and scarves; the separation of liquids and electronics; and the uncomfortable pat-downs because we know that this is for the greater good. If all of this makes flying safer, we don’t mind walking around in our socks for a couple of minutes and showing what type of toothpaste we use to TSA agents.
But, this time, things may be going too far as some travelers have been asked by TSA to remove food items from their carry-on for them to be as visible as your laptop when on the conveyor belt.
Although it is allowed to transport food from outside into an airplane, your snack can create confusion during the security process. According to The Washington Post, airport security’s “high-tech scanners detect organic compounds contained in some explosives and sometimes give false alerts on food”, which leads to slower security lines.
The problem is, because complimentary in-flight meals are mostly a thing of the past and travelers don’t want to pay $15 for a soggy sandwich, most people bring snacks in airplanes these days. Separating food items upon security will inevitably make lines slower as well.
At the moment, removing food items from carry-ons is not a nationwide policy, just a recommendation. However, it’s very possible that it will soon become a requirement.
Whatever happens, once screened and deemed not dangerous, you should be able to take your snacks with you. That said, before you pack any food for a trip, remember that if you’re going abroad you may not be allowed to bring certain fruit and vegetables onboard. So, instead of having your meal confiscated at the security checkpoint, read the guidelines prior to your departure.