Last Updated on May 12, 2021
Flying with frozen food is possible in carry-on and checked luggage.
Go ahead and pack frozen food in checked luggage and don’t worry. It’s allowed!
For carry-on luggage there are special instructions.
Read on so you don’t fall foul of the regulations.
TSA Frozen Food Rules
The Transportation Security Administration screen your luggage when you fly in the United States.
Here is what they say about traveling with frozen food.
The relevant rule when flying with frozen food is the liquids rule.
Soup for example begins to become a liquid if not completely frozen. Liquids are limited to small travel size amount less than 3.4 ounces.
That’s why if you are packing frozen food in carry-on luggage there are special instructions.
If any liquid frozen food is partially melted then you will not be able to bring it through the security checkpoint.
Foods that are solid when thawed out are not restricted in carry on luggage.
You can pack foods in 5 pounds of dry ice and it will help them to remain frozen when you go through airport security.
If you use ice packs that’s fine but they must be completely frozen.
As for hold luggage…
You can pack frozen food in your checked luggage without restriction.
Just remember that checked luggage can occasionally be lost or delayed. Also, items in checked bags can sometimes be damaged or even stolen.
Still Unsure? Ask The TSA
If you have questions about bringing a specific item on the plane you can message the TSA on Twitter and they’ll get back to you.
Molly asked the TSA if she could bring frozen corn through the security checkpoint.
The TSA simply answered, “Yes, you can! Frozen foods are allowed in carry-on bags”.
Danae wanted to pack frozen butter in her carry-on luggage.
Usually butter would be limited to 3.4 ounces and need to be packed alongside your liquids in your one quart-size bag.
But IF the butter is frozen solid when going through the security checkpoint you can pack as much as you like.
Jana wanted to bring curry on the plane.
Curry is allowed in carry-on bags in containers 3.4 oz or less, frozen curry is permitted in carry-on luggage but it must be completely frozen when presented for screening.
The Bottom Line
You can take frozen food in checked luggage without restriction on domestic flights. For international flights remember to check customs rules for your destination country. Some foods are not allowed to travel internationally.
You can take all frozen food in carry-on luggage if it is truly frozen when you go through the security checkpoint at the airport.
Solid foods are permitted in carry-on luggage whether they are frozen or not.