Can you take food through airport security? What type of food and drink items you can and can't take through

The summer is a particularly common time for holidays and it is important to be aware of all the key airport rules

UK airport security - key rules involving food and drink. (Getty Images)UK airport security - key rules involving food and drink. (Getty Images)
UK airport security - key rules involving food and drink. (Getty Images)

When heading on a flight it is important to be as well organised as possible so that you can have a quick and efficient journey with no unnecessary or stressful delays.

It is therefore hugely important that all passengers have a clear understanding of the main airport rules. One of the most highly debated topics usually involves whether passengers can take food or drink through airport security and which types are allowed.

With that in mind we have taken a look at all the main items that you can and can't fly with ahead of the most popular holiday season of the year.

Can passengers take food through airport security?

Cakes, sandwiches, fruit, vegetables and all other completely solid foods are fine to take through UK airport security when preparing to board a flight.

However, there are a number of items of food that need to be treated as liquids - these include pots of jam, hummus, syrups, honey and guacamole. These items must all be in a 100ml or under container and they have to fit in a tiny plastic bag along with your liquids.

Similarly jars of olives and gherkins also count as liquids because they contain a considerable amount of juice.

Items which exceed the 100ml mark such as tuna, sauces, yoghurt and oil are banned if they exceed 100ml.

Can passengers take drinks through airport security?

All liquids must be under the limit of 100ml when passing through airport security. This rule has been in place since 2006.

Any liquids which are being taken through airport security must be placed in a single, transparent and resealable plastic bag, which holds no more than a litre.

The only exceptions to this rule are items which are required for essential medical purposes. Examples of these include baby milk and any specific dietary requirements.

Items bought at the airport after passing through security such as a bottle of wine, or a spirit can be taken on the plane but they must remain in a sealed airport bag and cannot be drunk during the flight.

What is classed as a liquid?

There are a number of foods and semi-liquid foods which are included in the 100ml rule. The following items are all classed as forms of liquids in airports:

  • All drinks, including water
  • Liquid or semi-liquid food, such as soup, jam and honey
  • Cosmetics and toiletries, including creams, lotions, mascara and lip gloss
  • Sprays, including shaving foam, hairspray and deodorants
  • Pastes, including tooth pastes
  • Contact lens solution

Changes to the rules

The 100ml rule regarding liquids has been in place for over 18 years but there are a number of plans to change those rules in the near future. From 2024 onwards new rules will allow drinks, makeup and liquids of any size to be carried as hand luggage.

Other rules regarding food in airports

If there is a passenger on board with a severe nut allergy, then it is likely that passengers will be warned not to take or open nuts or any form of food containing nuts throughout the duration of their flight.

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