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Can You Bring Soup On A Plane?

Can you bring soup on an airplane? Are the rules different for domestic and international flights? And just how long will soup remain safe to eat when packed in your luggage? Read on for the answers.

 

Bringing Soup On A Plane

Can You Bring Soup on Domestic Flights Within the U.S.A.?

Carry-On Baggage:

Yes – but limit of 3.4 ounces (100 ml) allowed through airport security

Checked Luggage:

Yes

 

 

Can You Bring Soup on International Flights Originating in the U.S.A?

Carry-On Baggage:

Yes – but limit of 3.4 ounces (100 ml) allowed through airport security*

Checked Luggage:

Yes*

 

*You can bring soup on board and consume it during the flight. But you might not be able to bring soup into your foreign destination (see details below).

 

Can You Bring Soup Into The U.S.A. on an International Flight?

Carry-On or Checked Luggage:

No in many cases (see details below)

 

 

How Long Will Soup Last In Your Luggage?

Soup – homemade or takeout

2 hours at room temperature

 

Sources: Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, StillTasty.com

 

BRINGING SOUP ON A PLANE: FLIGHTS ORIGINATING IN THE U.S.A.

Can you bring soup through airport security in your carry-on baggage?

Yes, but only in quantities of 3.4 ounces or less. Soup falls under the Transportation Security Administration’s “3-1-1 liquids rule”, which requires that all liquids and gels in your carry-on luggage be stored in 3.4-ounce (100 ml) or smaller containers — all of which must fit into one quart-sized plastic bag. 

 

Read more: Here are the foods you can bring through airport security

 

Can you bring frozen soup through airport security in your carry-on baggage?

Yes — but only if it is completely frozen solid when you are passing through the TSA checkpoint. If the soup is even partially thawed, the TSA screeners will likely bring it from you. (Note also that in many other countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom, passengers are not permitted to bring frozen liquids in excess of 3.4 ounces through airport security).

 

Can you buy soup in the airport after you have passed through airport security and bring it onto the plane?

Yes, once you have passed through the TSA checkpoint and are in the secure area of the airport, you can purchase soup — any size is allowable at this point — and bring it on board with you in your hand luggage.

 

Can you bring soup on an airplane in your checked baggage?

Yes, you can bring soup in your checked baggage when boarding a flight within the United States. And unlike the case with carry-on baggage, you can bring as much soup as you’d like in your allowable checked luggage. To avoid spillage, place the soup in a tightly sealed container and then overwrap with heavy-duty aluminum foil or plastic wrap, or place the sealed container inside a heavy-duty freezer bag. You can also freeze the soup before placing it in your checked baggage. Since soup is perishable, you should pack it along with some ice or a frozen gel pack to keep it cold throughout the trip.

 

Can you bring soup on an international flight leaving the U.S.A.?

Yes, you can bring soup on an international flight departing from the U.S. — but depending on where you’re going, you may not be able to bring the soup off the plane once you arrive at your destination.

If your intention is to bring the soup onto the plane in your carry-on baggage and eat it during the flight, you’ll have no issues. The TSA applies the same rules for allowing soup through security at U.S. airports, whether you are flying domestically or internationally. And as noted above, you can also buy soup once you have passed through airport security and bring it on the plane with you.

But taking the soup off the plane and bringing it into a foreign country is a different matter. The rules around bringing in food items that contain meat, poultry and dairy can be strict in many countries. Be sure to check your foreign destination’s rules before leaving.

 

BRINGING SOUP INTO THE UNITED STATES

Can you bring soup on an international flight back into the U.S.A.?

In many cases the answer is no. The United States has strict rules about allowing travelers to bring in food items that contain meat, poultry or egg ingredients (including broths made with meat or poultry) — if your soup contains any of these, it likely won’t be permitted. The soup will also have to be commercially canned or vacuum-packed to be allowed.

Note that even if the soup is allowed, you must declare all foods that you bring into the United States — whether they are allowable or not —  to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and permit them to be inspected by a CBP agent. This can be a time-consuming process. The penalties for failing to declare your food items can be steep; bear in mind also that the CBP routinely conducts random screenings for arriving passengers.

 

FOOD SAFETY: HOW LONG WILL SOUP LAST IN YOUR LUGGAGE?

Prepared soup will usually remain safe to eat for about 2 hours when stored at room temperature. You can bring ice or a frozen gel pack to keep soup cooler longer. But ice or gel packs in your carry-on luggage must be completely frozen when passing through airport security — if they are even partially thawed, the TSA screeners will likely bring them from you.

 

 

Note: While the above information is based on applicable Transportation Security Administration (TSA) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) guidelines at the time of publication, the final decision for whether to allow a food item through airport security or into the United States rests with the TSA and CBP officers on duty at the airport. Regulations also change frequently: For the latest information, check the US Customs and Border Protection and Transportation Security Administration websites.

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