The Transportation Security Administration has finally declared whether peanut butter is a liquid or a solid.
It all started because writer and podcaster Patrick Neve was trying to take a jar of Jif natural peanut butter on a recent flight out of Pittsburgh, The New York Times reported.
He shared on Twitter that he had to give up his peanut butter when a TSA agent said “Sorry, no liquids, gels or aerosols.”
I tried to take peanut butter through airport security.— Patrick Neve (@catholicpat) March 15, 2023
TSA: Sorry, no liquids, gels, or aerosols.
Me: I want you to tell me which of those things you think peanut butter is.
So he asked the government agency what it thinks peanut butter qualifies as.
And TSA officials answered, saying that peanut butter is a liquid but can be brought on flights in a carry-on if it is 3.4oz or less and in a one-quart-sized bag.
The TSA warned that “Passengers that don’t comply with TSA’s liquids rules may cause a delay in the airport and will require additional screening,” Fox News reported.
You may not be nuts about it, but TSA considers your PB a liquid. In carry-on, it needs to be 3.4oz or less. Make sure all your travel-sized liquids fit in one quart-sized bag. #PeanutButter pic.twitter.com/4RzDv3Up7B— TSA (@TSA) March 21, 2023
TSA spokesperson R. Carter Langston explained the reasoning a bit further for the Times, saying that since peanut butter is “spreadable” the rules for liquids, gels and aerosols apply.
“As we frequently seek to remind travelers: If you can spill it, spray it, spread it, pump it or pour it, then it’s subject to the 3.4-ounce limitation,” he told the newspaper.
The TSA took the debate a step further, tweeting that even melted queso is technically under the liquids rule, Fox News reported.
Traveling with your favorite chips and dip? You don’t want it to become all chips and no dip. So be sure your creamy sauces are 3.4oz or less in carry-on. In queso you’re wondering, all your travel-size liquids need to fit in a single quart-size bag. More: https://t.co/KhidiRNdpE pic.twitter.com/mHC865jyTj— TSA (@TSA) March 23, 2023
The liquid rule was put into place in 2006 in response to several bombing attempts on planes. Security technology, however, has advanced over the years with many wondering if rules over items such as peanut butter, perfume and water bottles are still needed, the Times reported.
Langston said the 3.4oz. guidance was set by the International Civil Aviation Organization and that it is “still very much a necessary risk-based rule.”
To read the TSA’s liquid rules for yourself, visit the agency’s website.