Peanut butter and other 'liquid' items you can't carry in hand baggage on a plane

DailyBiteMarch 22, 2023 | 15:19 IST

There are very few places as stressful as the gate of an airport security check. The humble and unassuming peanut butter in a jar has been among the casualties of the airport security check for a while. In the latest, the US authority for transportation settled the debate on peanut butter by calling it "liquid". 

You may not be nuts about it, but TSA considers your PB a liquid.


  • Do you think peanut butter or something like Nutella chocolate spread is liquid? Did it ever occur to you that it could be liquid?
  • It can be defined as paste, plasma, or mashed solid, but not liquid, right? But according to the TSA, your favourite peanut butter IN A JAR is liquid for all purposes and intents. 

So, what's the problem with peanut butter at airports? 

This comedian had his peanut butter jar confiscated at the airport. 

  • You must know that you cannot carry water while boarding a plane. However, you can carry an empty bottle. 
  • Some of the unfortunate ones have even been forced to abandon their expensive perfumes at airport security because they were above the 100ml limit, or were carried in a 100ml bottle. 

(Even if the perfume amount is less than 100ml, but in more than 100ml bottles, it cannot pass through security check).

  • This is due to the rule that liquids more than 100ml being barred on carry-on luggage. It came into force after a failed terror plot in London in 2006 involving Tang (we all know this one) and a lot of batteries. 
  • The rules once implemented in the UK were adopted elsewhere including in India. 
  • So, with peanut butter designated a liquid, it cannot be taken through the security check in a jar of more than 100ml. 
  • It can be carried if you spread the entire contents of the jar onto a sandwich. Just as long as it is not in a jar.

Sounds ridiculous right? Well, people had some crazy theories to add:

Here are cats in a jar, that doesn't seem to have an original shape:

[ALSO READ: Can you take a pet with you on a flight in India?]

Well, even humans are made of roughly 70% water. That definitely makes us liquid beings.

Aside from peanut butter, there are also other items that we normally consider solids but airport security doesn't agree:


You can try bawling your eyes out at the security check to take it with you. Or freeze it!


It is okay sometimes, it's not okay other times. Apparently, the verdict on whether hummus is solid or liquid is still not here. 

Melting ice cream 

You can apparently carry ice cream as long as it is still solid and not melting. You may or may not be stopped.  


Toothpaste is considered gel, so anything more than 100ml is not allowed. 


They look like TNT, so yea nope!


Yeah, sorry liquid according to TSA, unless you can freeze it and carry! 


Finish eating it if you aren't allowed to take it inside. 


It is liquid!


If it doesn't fit in the bag

Some airports have clear plastic bags in which all gel, liquid and paste items are to be packed in. If it doesn't fit, then it is going in the bin.

And the consensus is that raw eggs are fine…

TSA has a quip it wants travelers to remember: 

If you can spill it, spray it, spread it, pump it or pour it [then it is liquid].

Airport security isn't really the villain always; it is trying to make flying safer. There are problems though. A lot of people revealed how conventionally dangerous items like scalpels went unnoticed even as their peanut butter jar or something similar was confiscated.

Airports around the world are trying out a new technology that scans luggage more efficiently. If implemented, the 100ml limit will be removed and removing electronics also wouldn't be a necessity.

[ALSO READ: 5 worst flight fight viral videos of 2022]

Last updated: March 22, 2023 | 15:21
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