Peanut Butter Stirs an Old Debate: To the T.S.A., What’s a Liquid?

2 months ago 66

A podcaster’s Twitter station astir surrendering his jar of Jif inspired sympathy and a question of comments, and a spot of feature from the T.S.A.

A bin holds confiscated gels and liquid items from passengers astatine  T.S.A. checkpoints, including a jar of Jif peanut butter, Jello pudding packs, h2o  bottles, hairsbreadth  products and more.
Items considered to beryllium liquid oregon gel confiscated from passengers astatine Virginia’s Norfolk International Airport successful 2006.Credit...Hyunsoo Leo Kim/The Virginian-Pilot, via Associated Press

Emily Schmall

March 20, 2023, 4:52 p.m. ET

The Transportation Security Administration thought it had settled a quality implicit peanut food immoderate clip ago: unless it is 3.4 fluid ounces oregon less, it has to beryllium checked.

However, the question of what the T.S.A. considers a liquid continues to confuse passengers. It bubbled up again past week erstwhile a writer and podcaster tried to committee a formation retired of Pittsburgh with a jar of Jif earthy peanut butter.

Patrick Neve, who said helium was connected the mode to a speaking engagement, wrote astir surrendering his peanut food successful a tweet that had received 10.4 cardinal views by Monday, according to Twitter.

“I tried to instrumentality peanut food done airdrome security,” helium wrote. “T.S.A.: ‘Sorry, nary liquids, gels, oregon aerosols.’ Me: ‘I privation you to archer maine which of those things you deliberation peanut food is,’” helium continued, lightheartedly summarizing his conundrum.

He asked; T.S.A. answered.

The administration, which takes a decidedly lighter code online than its officers bash astatine airdrome information lines — with a bio promising “travel tips and dada gag hits” — responded with a reiteration of its peanut-butter rule, and a atrocious pun.

“You whitethorn not beryllium nuts astir it,” the administration’s societal media squad posted connected Instagram, “but T.S.A. considers your PB a liquid. In carry-on, it needs to beryllium 3.4 oz. oregon less.”

Mr. Neve’s acquisition with T.S.A., earlier reported by The Washington Post, inspired travelers to stock their ain tales of nonaccomplishment to the exacting standards of a T.S.A. information line, galore of them with much than a hint of snark.

“So seemingly my peanut food wasn’t allowed past information but the 22-gauge IV insertion kits that were someway astatine the bottommost of my carry-on container passed with flying colors,” Blimi Marcus, a registered nurse, wrote connected Twitter.

The T.S.A.’s Instagram station reminder included the textbook explanation of a liquid: thing that “has nary definite signifier and instrumentality a signifier dictated by its container.”

By that definition, respective radical wrote successful the post’s comments, neither cats nor cranberry condiment should beryllium allowed onboard.

Peanut food is considered to beryllium “spreadable,” truthful it falls nether the regularisation for liquids, gels and aerosols, a T.S.A. spokesman, R. Carter Langston, said successful an email.

“As we often question to punctual travelers: If you tin spill it, spray it, dispersed it, pump it oregon determination it, past it’s taxable to the 3.4-ounce limitation,” helium said.

Unlike with firearms — determination were a record 6,301 guns intercepted by T.S.A. successful 2022 — the medication does not way the quantity of nutrient oregon different goods it asks passengers to either cheque oregon surrender.

Aside from items deemed utile arsenic props successful media demonstrations astatine determination airports, the bulk of what travelers manus implicit gets thrown away, Mr. Langston said.

Aware that stressed-out travelers are often frustrated with the T.S.A. rules for the contents of their carry-on luggage, Janis Burl, a societal media subdivision manager astatine the agency, decided to effort a antithetic tack online.

Under her stewardship, the administration’s Instagram account, with its playful code and nonstop messages to confused passengers, has attracted immoderate 1.2 cardinal followers.

The account’s ngo is to talk to “the communal traveler,” Mr. Langston said.

“Sometimes it takes a small much feature to resonate with people, peculiarly implicit societal media,” helium said.

All joking aside, T.S.A. officials accidental that the risks of explosives onboard person not abated since 2006, erstwhile the limits connected liquids archetypal came into unit successful effect to the Sept. 11 attacks and respective different bombing attempts connected aviation.

The rules came astir arsenic portion of the Aviation and Transportation Security Act signed into instrumentality by erstwhile President George W. Bush successful November 2001, mandating that national officials behaviour enhanced screening astatine airdrome checkpoints.

The T.S.A. acceptable up explosive detection systems, the exertion for which has precocious implicit the years, starring immoderate critics to wonderment whether peanut butter, perfume and h2o bottles should stay nether specified scrutiny.

The 3.4-ounce bounds is simply a modular acceptable by the International Civil Aviation Organization, Mr. Langston said, calling it “still precise overmuch a indispensable risk-based rule.”

Read Entire Article