Hand luggage rules: Foods you can and can’t take through airport security | Travel News | Travel | Express.co.uk

2022-08-20 07:14:02 By : Mr. Michael Fu

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Taking a holiday abroad is already expensive, so one way travellers can cut down costs is by bringing their own food for the flight. But there are some items of food you cannot take through airport security. 

Restaurants and food-to-go shops are pricey at airport terminals, and the food available on some flights isn’t that much cheaper either. 

With drinks, unless you take an empty reusable bottle through security and use the water filling stations, there is little option to save money because you are not allowed to take more than 100ml of liquids through. 

Newcastle International Airport’s Facebook page reposted a customer’s photo of their Gregg’s steak bake and sausage rolls next to their airport pint and prosecco. 

Visitors to that specific airport know that Greggs is before security, not after. 

“I did not know that you could take Greggs through,” someone commented. “We flew on Thursday and I could have had a bag full of vegan sausage rolls!"

You are allowed to take food through airport security, but there are certain rules and restrictions. 

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A flight attendant has listed a number of things she will "never do" after working in the industry.

They include using the seat pockets and falling asleep with Airpods in, as well as one particular flight to avoid.

Newcastle Airport and London Heathrow confirm you are allowed to store food in your hand luggage, they advise storing them in your hold luggage because it can cause extra delays during security checks. 

They said: “Food or powders should be packed into hold baggage where possible. 

“Although these items are permitted in hand luggage, they can obstruct images on the X-Ray machine, or may be mistaken for suspicious items – so putting them in the hold will help reduce the need for additional checks. 

“Passengers who need to take these items on board should therefore allow extra time at security."

Gov.UK confirms the rules for all British airports; you can take food through security in your hand luggage, but they advise that it may cause delays as your bags will be more likely to require manual checking.

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The UK Government says: "Food items and powders in your hand luggage can obstruct images on x-ray machines. Your bags may need to be checked again manually by security. You can put these items in your hold luggage to minimise delays."

Airport security also reserves the right to confiscate anything they consider dangerous, even if it plays by the rules. Gov.uk added: “Airport security staff will not let anything through that they consider dangerous - even if it’s normally allowed in hand luggage.”

Cakes, sandwiches, fruit, vegetables and other completely solid foods are fine to take through airport security. 

Some items need to be treated as liquids; jam, hummus, syrups, honey and guacamole all have to be under 100ml and have to fit in that tiny plastic bag with other liquids. 

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Bizarrely, if you took the hummus out of the pot and spread it on a slice of bread, it would be considered acceptable though.

Jars of olives and gherkins also count as a liquid, even though they are mainly solids, because they contain a considerable amount of juice.

And items in cans, such as tuna, are also banned as they exceed 100ml and contain liquid, and soup counts as a liquid, not a solid.

This also means sauces, yoghurt, vinegar and oil are banned if they exceed 100ml.

But sweet treats such as caramel or liquid-filled chocolates are allowed – but must also fit in your 100ml bag, along with all your other liquids.

Hard cheese is fine in your hand luggage, but soft cheese has to go in the hold.

Of course, passengers who do plan on travelling with cheese or any other dairy product should also check any import restrictions of their destination.

For example, when travelling from a non-EU country into the EU, passengers are not allowed to bring any meat or dairy products with them.

You can however bring a limited quantity of fruit and vegetables as well as eggs, egg products and honey.

It is also worth checking if you also have US customs pre-clearance – where US customs are stationed at UK airports - if you are travelling to the US.

It comes as some travellers have complained that they were made to ditch items like ham sandwiches as they didn’t comply with US customs laws.

As for what is exempt from the liquid rule, baby food and milk are allowed at UK airports.

Gov.uk states: "When travelling with a baby you’re allowed to take enough baby food, baby milk and sterilised water for the journey.

"There is no legal limit to how much you can take however check with your airport before you travel.

"You can carry breast milk in hand luggage even if you’re not travelling with a baby.

"Individual containers of breast milk must hold no more than 2,000ml."

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