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Shelf Talk

Can You Bring Spices On A Plane?

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

 

Bringing Dried Spices On A Plane

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

Carry-On Baggage:

Yes – for ground spices, amounts greater than 12 ounces should be placed in checked luggage

Checked Luggage:

Yes

 

 

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

Carry-On Baggage:

Yes – for ground spices, amounts greater than 12 ounces should be placed in checked luggage*

Checked Luggage:

Yes*

 

*You can bring spices on board. But you might not be able to bring spices into your foreign destination (see details below).

 

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

Carry-On or Checked Luggage:

 Yes in most cases

 

 

How Long Will Spices Last In Your Luggage?

Spices, dried

1 to 4 years at room temperature, depending on type

 

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

 

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

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

Yes, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will allow you to bring dried spices and dried herbs through airport security in your carry-on baggage. If the spices aren’t already pre-packaged, they should be placed in a resealable bag or container with a secure lid.

If you are taking ground spices or seasonings (such as salt, pepper, Cajun seasoning, chili powder or curry powder), it’s best to limit the amount you pack in your carry-on to containers of 12 ounces (350 ml) or less. That’s because ground spices are considered a powder-like substance for TSA screening purposes, and powders in quantities above 12 ounces (about the size of a standard soda can) may be disallowed through the security checkpoint if TSA agents cannot be assured of their safety.

 

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

 

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

Yes, you can bring spices in your checked baggage when boarding a flight within the United States. You can bring any quantity of spices that you wish in your allowable checked luggage.

 

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

Yes, you can bring dried spices on an international flight departing from the U.S., either in your carry-on baggage or your checked luggage. The TSA applies the same rules for allowing spices through security at U.S. airports, whether you are flying domestically or internationally.

You can also bring spices into many foreign countries. But depending on the country, they might have to be in their original packaging and unopened. Be sure to check your foreign destination’s rules before leaving.

 

BRINGING SPICES INTO THE UNITED STATES

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

Yes, the United States generally allows travelers to bring most dried spices into the U.S. when arriving on a flight from a foreign country. The exceptions are spices containing fruit or vegetable leaves or seeds (including citrus leaves or seeds), which are typically prohibited.

Note that even though spices is typically 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). 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 SPICES LAST IN YOUR LUGGAGE?

Spices will usually keep well for about 1 to 4 years at room temperature, depending on the type of spice.

 

 

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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