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Thread: Travel - TSA rules and how long would this food keep page

  1. #1
    Aquamarine's Avatar
    Aquamarine is offline Member
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    Post Travel - TSA rules and how long would this food keep

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    I have a 2 and a half day trip where I'll be so busy. I don't think I have time to cook, go to a grocery store, restaurant, or fast food place once I arrive. I have my methods for short road-trips without buying any food, but I have never flown before.

    My plan is to bring in my carry-on luggage:
    - Unopened can of fish that I don't plan to eat but it's a backup in case of flight problems
    - Two baggies of cooled, steamed vegetables
    - Hard boiled eggs intact
    - Small baggies of nuts and dried fruit

    I believe those will pass TSA rules, but I'd have a tough time if the TSA took my some of my food. Can anyone reassure me that these are ok?

    And to ship these items:
    - Unopened can of fish
    - Oil for my canned fish because I can't use olive oil
    - Maybe frozen vegetables with an ice pack
    - Maybe hard boiled eggs with an ice pack.
    - Maybe chicken broth with an ice pack.
    - More nuts and dried fruit

    Shipping is tricky because of the weekend, I would have to have the package arrive the day before I arrive, and I don't know if the hotel would be kind enough to refrigerate my package that day. The food may be unrefrigerated for over 72 hours if they do not. I'm not sure if the vegetables would be ok, because it's the middle of summer. Hard boiled eggs should be okay, shouldn't they? I would prefer scrambled eggs, but I don't see those lasting as well. What about the broth? It would have plenty of salt in it. I would be afraid to ship some precooked chicken meat, even with salt on it.

    That might be enough. I have a limited budget and many food sensitivities so I don't eat much variety. I am very hesitant to bring any dried meat product or sea vegetables. I might try to dehydrate some other cooked vegetables like kale if I have time.

    Obviously if something went very wrong, I'd go to a restaurant or grocery store, but what do I need to add to my plan?

  2. #2
    Meant2Move's Avatar
    Meant2Move is offline Senior Member
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    Flagstaff, AZ
    I won't venture an opinion on the items to ship (I'd be wary) but I've recently traveled with fresh fruit (apple, cherries, grapes), HB eggs, and nuts in my carry on. I had no problems going through security.

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  3. #3
    noodletoy's Avatar
    noodletoy is online now Senior Member
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    May 2012
    land of the glass pinecones
    ice packs do not last 72 hours. they won't even last 24 if the air temp is very hot, so i would not be shipping anything that is perishable. no eggs, no broth, etc. or you're begging for food poisoning.

    without knowing your accommodations, food issues and logistics a bit better it's hard to make recommendations, but how were you planning to go 2.5 days with 1 tin of fish?
    As I ate the oysters with their strong taste of the sea and their faint metallic taste that the cold white wine washed away, leaving only the sea taste and the succulent texture, and as I drank their cold liquid from each shell and washed it down with the crisp taste of the wine, I lost the empty feeling and began to be happy and to make plans.

    Ernest Hemingway

  4. #4
    ekba09's Avatar
    ekba09 is online now Senior Member
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    Your plan sounds a lot more complicated and time consuming than just stopping at a grocery store when you arrive. As Noodle points out, those things won't survive shipping with ice packs.

    Are you going to some remote location? If not, relax - they have food there.

  5. #5
    vabelle35's Avatar
    vabelle35 is offline Member
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    Mar 2015
    United States
    TSA rules are subjective, airport to airport, TSA agent to TSA agent.

    Unless you are shipping in dry ice, I don't recommend it (and I assure you it will be cost prohibitive to do that).

    I never pack food with me other than almonds to take on the plane. Even if I call the Marriott the morning of and ask if I have a refrigerator in my room, 50% of the time, they move my room and I dont' have a refrigerator (hence the mini cans of coconut milk referred to below).

    Before I leave, I figure out where the closest Whole Foods or other like grocery store is and buy what I need there. I also scope out good restaurant options for lunch and dinner. Even if it's Wendy's or Chipotle or a steak house, at least I know I have that option.

    If I am going longer than one night, I pack in my suitcase mini cans of Native Forrest coconut milk, my can opener, my Starbucks VIA and my electric kettle. Everything else I can get at a grocery store or a decent restaurant.

    For breakfast, if I am eating in the hotel or out of the hotel, I find eggs and eat a lot of them. That always gets me to lunch. I have Emerald 100 cal packs of almonds with me and Larabars (Cashew Cookie or the new nut ones that are like Kind Bars) if dinner is going to be really late.
    Last edited by vabelle35; Yesterday at 06:25 PM.

  6. #6
    sharperhawk's Avatar
    sharperhawk is offline Senior Member
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    United States
    Many of us survived for decades on junk. I'm sure that wherever you are going, you can make the best choice of what's available and still be much better off than most people. It's a skill worth developing.

  7. #7
    DannyP's Avatar
    DannyP is online now Senior Member
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    Oct 2014
    The problem with the fish will be if it's in water, oil or any other liquid. Then it has to meet the "3oz" rule (liquid containers must be under 3oz). I'd just keep it in your quart bag with any other liquids. Or go with a high quality jerky or Epic meat bars.

  8. #8
    Urban Forager's Avatar
    Urban Forager is offline Senior Member
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    Northern California
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    Unless you are going to a very strange place you will be able to get things like hard boiled eggs and fruit, most places serve salad with oil and vinegar. Just pack some jerky, dried fruit and nuts.

    Like ekba says, worst case scenario is you will eat something less than ideal but you will survive. Of course if you are Celiac you will have to take some precautions.
    Life is death. We all take turns. It's sacred to eat during our turn and be eaten when our turn is over. RichMahogany.

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