(WJW) – You may have already agreed to bring a family favorite food item to the Thanksgiving gathering, or maybe you’re looking to snag some leftover pie after the Thanksgiving Day meal – either way, there is some ‘food for thought’ to consider if you plan on flying with your holiday favorites.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) said to put it simply: “If it’s a solid item, then it can go through a checkpoint. However, if you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it or pour it, and it’s larger than 3.4 ounces, then it should go in a checked bag.”

The TSA notes in a press release that while most food can be carried through a checkpoint, there are some items that will need to be transported in checked baggage.

Below is a basic guide (provided by TSA:)

Thanksgiving foods that can be carried through a TSA checkpoint

  • Baked goods. Homemade or store-bought pies, cakes, cookies, brownies and other sweet treats.
  • Meats. Turkey, chicken, ham, steak. Frozen, cooked or uncooked.
  • Stuffing. Cooked, uncooked, in a box or in a bag.
  • Casseroles. Traditional green beans and onion straws or something more exotic.
  • Mac ‘n Cheese. Cooked in a pan or traveling with the ingredients to cook it at your destination.
  • Fresh vegetables. Potatoes, yams, broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, beets, radishes, carrots, squash, greens.
  • Fresh fruit. Apples, pears, pineapple, lemons, limes, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, bananas, kiwi. 
  • Candy.
  • Spices.

Thanksgiving foods that should be carefully packed with your checked baggage

  • Cranberry sauce. Homemade or canned are spreadable, so check them.
  • Gravy. Homemade or in a jar/can.
  • Wine, champagne, sparking apple cider.
  • Canned fruit or vegetables. It’s got liquid in the can, so check them.
  • Preserves, jams and jellies. They are spreadable, so best to check them.
  • Maple syrup.

Other Tips:

  • Food items often require additional security screening, so it is best to place those items in an easily accessible location when packing them.
  • Travelers who are not sure about an item can check the TSA homepage. They they will find a “What can I bring?” feature. Type in the item and find out if you can carry it through a checkpoint or if it should be checked.
  • Also, remember food safety. Food should be stored properly to prevent illness. The TSA notes, “If you need to keep items cold during your trip, ice packs are permissible, but they must be frozen solid and not melted when they go through security screening.”

Here you can find tips from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on food safety, as well as some tips from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also has tips for handling food safely while traveling.