Can You Bring Chocolate On A Plane? We Unwrap The TSA Airport Security Regulations

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Ahhh chocolate… you’ve always been there for me when times were hard…

But will you be there for me when I’m flying 6 miles up in the sky on a plane?

Let’s see what the TSA has to say about the matter.

TSA Chocolate Regulations

The Transportation Security Administration has 2 rules relating to flying with chocolate, and they are the people that decide what you can take on a plane.

Firstly solid chocolate:

You can bring solid chocolate in either your carry-on or your checked bags and there is no limit to the number of solid chocolate candy bars you can take.

I’m not really sure what “liquid chocolate” is. I guess they mean chocolate syrup, melted chocolate, or chocolate milk. Whatever it is, liquid chocolate is fine for checked bags but there are some hand luggage rules you need to adhere to.

So if you were flying with chocolate syrup in your carry on bag you’d need to put it in a small 3.4 oz bottle and pack it in the transparent 1 quart bag alongside your mini shampoo bottles.

That’s all you the information you get from the TSA website.

But in the real world chocolate bars don’t come as pure solid chocolate. They often come with sugary liquid, cream or paste fillings that bring the TSA rules around flying with chocolate bars into a grey area.

Creams or pastes are usually considered as liquids and restricted by the TSA. You might think that cream pastes or liquids inside chocolates would mean they are limited on flights.

Let’s have a good look shall we?

Ladies and gentlemen, I invite you to consider…

Exhibit A – A Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup

As I’m sure you will know a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup is a solid chocolate cup filled with a peanut butter cream. It says so on Wikipedia.

So let’s take a look at the TSA rules on peanut butter.

Peanut butter is considered a liquid by the TSA and you are only able to take peanut butter in containers less than 3.4 oz. If you tried to fly with a large jar of peanut butter you might find it gets confiscated at the airport security checkpoint.

Apparently, if you can pump it, squeeze it, spread it, smear it, spray it or spill it… it must follow the liquids rule and be packed alongside your travel-sized liquids.

That answer seemed to be enough for Christa to accept that peanut butter was a liquid… But I wasn’t satisfied.

Just for fun, I thought I would test the @AskTSA service on twitter to see what they would say about flying with giant 1 lb Reese’s peanut butter cups.

The results were quite amusing… I think I found a TSA peanut butter loophole.

Firstly the TSA told me that the large 1 lb peanut butter cups were fine and had no packing or quantity restrictions.

Then I asked what would happen if I took the peanut butter out the Reese’s cups and put it in a jar…

They said that “jarred peanut butter” would need to be 3.4 oz or less.

So we have a crazy situation where glass or plastic jars of peanut butter are treated as liquids and must be under 3.4 oz…

But chocolate “jars” or cups of peanut butter are not considered liquids and you can bring as much of them as you like in your carry on.

That’s good news for peanut butter addicts that travel with cabin luggage only.

What’s Going On Here?

I’m not complaining. The TSA is simply being pragmatic and I actually applaud them for these rules.

Many chocolate bars or boxes of chocolates come with cream fillings. While technically these fillings would normally fall under the liquids rule the TSA are just being sensible enough not to ask you to put your chocolate bar in your liquids bag just because it has a liquid caramel filling.

In all cases it is the TSA officer at the airport security checkpoint that makes the final decision.

I’m not so sure that this #tsaloophole would work in a real-life scenario.

Can You Bring Nutella (chocolate spread) On A Plane?

Similar to peanut butter Nutella is considered a liquid by airport security. So you if you want to bring Nutella or any other chocolate spread on a plane you need to pack it in your transparent liquids bag.

Normally Nutella jars would be too large since liquids should be less than 3.4 oz or 100 ml.

But you can buy Nutella in smaller mini jars that are 25 grams. In face one Amazon seller has packages up these mini jars into a weekly pack for travelers.

Or you could transfer Nutella in your own containers smaller than 3.4 oz.

Or perhaps you might want to try making your own large solid chocolate cup and fill it up with Nutella.

If you do try that then let me know how you get on!

Can You Bring Chocolate Cake In Hand Luggage?

What about chocolate cake with a cream icing? Can you take chocolate cake into the cabin?

Woohoo! Another win for Team Chocoholic!

You can have your chocolate cake and eat it on your next flight.

The Verdict

You can fly with solid chocolate, boxes of cream-filled chocolates in your cabin baggage or your checked luggage.

But if you were to extract the cream fillings from the chocolates you’d need to pack them in your toiletries bag to get them through airport security.

You’ll pretty much be fine with most candies. It’s just a question of whether something is considered a solid or liquid. You can read this page for a general article about taking food on a plane.

The rules are a little odd yes. But any rules make it easier for me to travel with chocolate candy bars I’m on-board with. Pun intended!

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