Can You Bring A Sandwich With Liquid Condiments On It Through TSA?

Anyone who's ever passed through an airport knows just how expensive it can be to eat and drink while waiting for their flight. From a $5 bottle of water to a $10 bag of Chex Mix, and even a single glass of wine for $30, airports are typically where budget-conscious spending goes to die. After all, in between the fact that you have nowhere else to go and the sneaky tricks airports use to get you to spend your hard-earned money, it's incredibly easy to overspend at an airport. Luckily, though, there's one clever way to help you save some pretty big bucks while waiting around for your flight: bringing your own airport snacks.

From nuts and cereal bars to leftover birthday cake, an entire block of cheese (with crackers, of course), a fresh slice of pizza, and even a cooked steak, there are plenty of TSA-approved foods that can keep you satisfied until you're on the plane. And yes, the list even includes foods with condiments, like that mayo-y, avocado, bacon, and cheddar sandwich that you've securely tucked into your carry-on — just make sure it's not too soggy.

Sandwiches with condiments are travel-friendly

Per the TSA's website, it's perfectly safe (and legal) to bring your own food through a security checkpoint. Nonetheless, there are some important guidelines and exceptions that you'll want to keep in mind before just throwing your entire pantry into your carry-on. For starters, while most solid foods are generally allowed and shouldn't pose an issue, the TSA still considers spreads and creams as liquids, which means they must follow the TSA's 3-1-1 liquids rule if you plan to bring them in your carry-on. Specifically, food items like hummus, jam/jelly, cream cheese, chocolate spread, and even soup must be safely stored in a container that's 3.4 ounces or less in order to be passed through.

That said, a homemade sub with a spoonful of mayo and mustard — even if it's got a layer of spreadable cheese thrown in there for good measure — shouldn't necessarily raise any red flags as long as all of the ingredients are inside the sandwich and not traveling separately. The same principle applies to a simple PB&J, turkey hoagie from your local deli, or veggie wrap. As for dips and extra sauces, make sure they're 3.4 ounces or less — otherwise, you'll have to throw them out.

Other foods that have been given the green light

In addition to sandwiches and wraps, there are other foods and meals that can be brought through the TSA's security checkpoint. Want to unleash your inner chef pre-flight? Consider prepping and packing foods like a quiche or frittata, pasta salad, dry packets of instant oatmeal, or a hearty rice bowl with all the fixings. Just make sure you notify the TSA agent that you're bringing food through, as some containers might be subject to additional screening if they trigger any alarms. As for eating utensils, it's best if you stick to plastic cutlery or those with a blunt edge (like a butter knife) — sharp and serrated knives are strictly prohibited from traveling in your carry-on.

Whatever you choose to bring, try to keep things neat and odor-free so as to not disturb any of the other travelers and passengers around you — which probably means that the tuna and egg casserole your mom made last night is best left behind. After all, you wouldn't want to land yourself on your flight attendant's bad side by chomping down on one of the many snacks flight attendants wish passengers would stop eating on the plane.