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TSA and powders

We will be flying to California for a mini-reunion with some high school friends, sharing a beach house. I plan to bake a couple of things for the group meals (cornbread for one and clafoutis for another) and will be taking my own baking mixes so I don't have to spend time shopping for the specialized ingredients there. I recall something about taking "powders" through TSA, but don't know if they are restricted in amount, or simply subject to inspection. I will have about four cups in all. Will this be a problem? Should I plan to check the bag the flours are in? I can do that but will have to pack differently. Flight is tomorrow.

Thanks.

Posted by
4783 posts

For carry on, you are only allowed up to the size of about a soda can full of powder substances.

Posted by
22022 posts

To be safe, put it in checked luggage. TSA has some inconsistencies and this one of them. If you cannot afford to have the items thrown away, then check it. Flour -- more specifically -- flour dust can be explosive.

Posted by
113 posts

Maybe consider mailing your supplies to where you will be staying.

Posted by
13299 posts

I am glad I asked! We can check bags for free, so I will just re-package the mixes and put them in the checked luggage.

Posted by
6147 posts

As one of the posters pointed out, there are guidelines, but they are only that. The TSA personnel have wide latitude to accept or reject items based on what they find. I would guess that an "unidentified" powder in unsealed packages would raise suspicion compared to powders sealed in commercial packaging. Not sure what you have, but as you have done, checked bags are always safer.

Posted by
678 posts

I got held up at security once for loose chalk dust in a carry-on bag I normally use for work as a teacher. Powder is a red flag for sure, but (thankfully) it passed an explosive screening test, and the delay was minimal.

Posted by
3610 posts

From the description I read on the TSA website, as of June 30 2018 the limit size of powders in carry-on bags was referring to International flights to the US. Powder-like substances of 12 oz/350 ml or more should be placed in checked luggage. Powder-like substances are described as fine dry particles produced by grinding or crushing or disintegration of solid substance (i.e. Flour, sugar, ground coffee, spices, powdered milk and cosmetics.) Your airline website may have the current regulations for domestic flights. I agree with others, pack in checked luggage to avoid inspection.

Posted by
13299 posts

Thanks! I am all packed. Flour, almond meal, cornmeal, and baking powder are all in the checked bag. Dried mushrooms, wild rice, and dried basil are in my carry-on, along with baking pans. Vanilla is in with my liquids ( only one ounce). We do have TSA-Pre.

Hopefully they do not suspect the basil, as this is Washington where pot is legal.

Posted by
3610 posts

Lola, at least you are not traveling Internationally. Last week at SeaTac the cute Beagle sniffed my carry-on. I had a sandwich in the bag 13 hours before and the scent was still there!