Reader Mail : Can I Fly With A Ham?

File this reader mail under ‘you just can’t make this stuff up.’ Earlier this week I received an email from a Flying With Fish reader, Markus, asking if the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) had any regulations prohibiting  flying with a ham.

After replying to Markus that I didn’t know of any regulations prohibiting flying with a ham … unless it was a huge ham, in which case he’d need to consult with airline carry on regulations (because where would you place a 25lbs/11.33kg ham on a flight?) … I received this reply.

“Do you know if the allowance of flying with a ham specifically extends to flying with a large glazed ham? “

I have to admit I didn’t quite know how to respond to this enquiry any further. I have read the TSA’s page on flying with food more than once, but can’t recall any section specifically pertaining to flying with a large glazed ham. Personally, I am more concerned with the TSA restricting my travelling with a pastrami on club rye sandwich with two packets of golden deli mustard … but I don’t foresee that specific ban popping up anytime soon.

To find Markus a definitive answer I made a phone call I could not believe I was making yesterday. I found myself contacting the Transportation Security Administration’s Public Affairs Spokeswoman seeking clarification to the unexpected question of ‘Can a passenger travel with a large glazed ham?’

After explaining the question at hand to the TSA’s Public Affairs Spokeswoman … and we both had a good laugh of the possibilities of this question … TSA’s Public Affairs Spokeswoman contacted TSA Operations on my behalf and sent me this reply

“I was able to confirm that a glazed ham alone would not be prohibited by TSA. Please help the person understand that if the ham had large amounts of pooled, melted glaze (a.k.a. liquid) they could be subject to additional screening. But as a general rule a passenger could bring a glazed ham through the checkpoint.

If it helps, here is a link to the place on our Web page with more info on what types of food are permitted through the checkpoint:

While I know the vast majority of the ins-and-outs of what is acceptable and prohibited by the TSA, and airport security around the world, it is nice to know even the TSA itself needed to find clarification on flying with a glazed ham, ie: the melting and potentially pooling glaze.

So Markus there you have it … you are free to fly with your large glazed ham, provided it does not exceed airline carry on requirements and it may be subject to additional screening should the glaze become liquefied.

On a side note, I’d like to thank the folks at  the TSA for actually taking the time to find me the answer to this question. I am sure they had better things to do with their time yesterday afternoon than ponder the problems associated with traveling with a glazed ham.

Keep the questions coming folks!

Happy Flying!


  1. OK, so it’s ok to fly with a glazed ham. But, you can’t have glazed ham without mashed potatoes. So, please call the kind TSA spokeswoman back and ask her about a gallon of mashed potatoes, would you? 😉

    Just found your site (through Strobist)…fun stuff.


  2. Thanks for your personal marvelous posting! I actually enjoyed reading it, you may be a great author.I will make certain to bookmark your blog and may come back very soon. I want to encourage you to continue your great job, have a nice morning!

  3. While unusual, this didn’t actually surprise me. While I *never* fly with food when I’m travelling for business, its no unheard of for my wife and I to carry a few snacks through for our kids. Just a few weeks ago we carried about 5-6 piroshkis through the TSA checkpoint in SEA without issue (family back home INSISTED that we bring some home!).

    Good article.

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