Travel tip: Claim liquids and foods as medicine

luggageI’ve had many friends heartbroken that they could not bring peanut butter or hummus through TSA airport security checkpoints. But guess what? If you have celiac disease, or another severe food allergy or intolerance, you can claim both as medicine and can bring them through.

According to TSA, a passenger traveling with disabilities or medical conditions that require them to have medically necessary liquid, gels and aerosols are allowed to be exempt from the 3-1-1 rule, which states all three of those items must be less than 3 oz. and fit into a quart size zip-lock bag to pass through security. So, under that rule, dips, nut butters, soups, sauces, dressings and similar items would not be allowed through security. But with the exemption, people with celiac disease and similar disabilities, are allowed to bring those items through and can even do so in a cooler with frozen gel or ice packs (prohibited by TSA under regular circumstances).

Why is this exemption so important? Many airports lack gluten-free and vegan options, particularly full meals, for passengers. That means you can be stranded in an airport without access to food. However, thanks to the TSA exemption, you have a greater freedom of possible meals to bring meals to eat while at the airport and on the plane. It also means that you can bring food to your final destination. Especially for those with celiac disease, making sure you have a supply of safe food is important. I always pack extra food when I travel because you never know if you have airplane delays or other emergencies that may pop-up and you need food. I’ve had to tap into my extra food supplies more than once for such delays and occurrences. Additionally, it means you could bring frozen items, such as veggie burgers and bread, along to make wherever your travels take you.

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