Honey jars in carry-ons meet a not-so-sweet end


POSTED: Wednesday, November 04, 2009

QUESTION: On a vacation to the Big Island, I bought some (jars of) Big Island honey and hand-carried them home to Honolulu. Going through the last security checkpoint at Honolulu Airport, I was told I was not allowed to take the jars of honey to Honolulu. They weren't nice to me in handling this situation, so I took the honey, left the line and gave them to the ticket counter people at Mokulele Airlines. I wasn't about to leave them with the security crew. Why couldn't I take processed honey to Honolulu?

ANSWER: Honey is among the food items you can tote in your checked baggage but not carry onto a plane, according to the Transportation Security Administration.

It's not listed specifically on the TSA Web site under prohibited food and gift items, but it's considered to be among the “;liquid, aerosol and gel items”; that you can't bring through a security checkpoint unless they are in 3.4-ounce containers (see hsblinks.com/17t).

According to the TSA Contact Center, travelers are allowed to carry liquids, gels and aerosols in containers 3.4 ounces or smaller, placed in one, 1-quart-size, clear, plastic, sealable bag, through security checkpoints.

That means you can carry aboard soup, sauce, peanut butter, fruits, vegetables, jellies, yogurt and gel-like foods, but only if they are in 3.4-ounce or smaller containers and placed inside a quart-size clear plastic bag.

Otherwise, put them in your checked baggage or buy them after you've cleared security.

The so-called 3-1-1 rule (3-ounce container in a 1-quart bag, one bag per passenger) is in response to a plot uncovered by British authorities in 2006, in which liquid explosives were to be detonated aboard aircraft flying from the United Kingdom to the United States.

“;While TSA believes that the arrests in Britain have significantly disrupted the threat, we cannot be sure that the threat has been entirely eliminated or the plot completely thwarted,”; the TSA said in response to our query.

Furthermore, “;our measures are not based on the belief that ordinary liquids, gels and aerosols themselves pose a risk, but rather that they and their containers could be used to conceal liquid explosives,”; the TSA said. “;This includes some food products and their containers, like applesauce, honey, jam and peanut butter.”;

The TSA advises passengers to contact the airlines to find out what they may carry. Exempt from the 3-1-1 rule are medications, baby formula/food and breast milk. These have to be declared for inspection at the checkpoint.

Meanwhile, just because something is not on the prohibited list doesn't mean it's all clear.

Regardless of whether an item is on the prohibited or permitted items list, you're warned that TSA officers “;have discretion to prohibit a traveler from carrying an item through the screening checkpoint or on board an aircraft if they believe the item poses a security threat.”;


Why can't places like Zippy's, McDonald's, Times Super Market, Safeway and others produce and sell diabetic-approved breakfast, lunch and dinner items so that diabetic people can buy prepared food to eat? They are restricted in their diet and need professional help to make foods they can eat and enjoy. All of us diabetics would appreciate it!—Richard