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Close up of person spreading peanut butter on slice of bread
bravissimos | Adobe Stock

Is Peanut Butter a Liquid? Here’s What the TSA Says

If you’ve ever tried to drink peanut butter (on its own, not in a smoothie), you might laugh at someone classifying the sticky substance as a liquid. You won’t be laughing if you try to bring a jar full of Skippy on your next flight—the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officially ruled that peanut butter is a liquid and subject to the 3-1-1 rule if it’s in your carry-on. 

Although peanut butter has always been considered a liquid by the TSA, the classification recently came to light after a traveler had his peanut butter confiscated by the TSA and sent out a Tweet expressing his confusion. 

The TSA responded with a punny post of its own, taking to Instagram to declare: “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.”

Screenshot of TSA instagram account describing its rules surrounding bringing peanut butter on the airplane
TSA | Instagram

To help passengers remember what is considered a liquid, the TSA offers this advice: “If you can spill it, spread it, spray it, pump it or pour it,” it’s subject to the liquids rule. Crunchy, smooth, no-stir, or natural—all types of peanut butter are liquids in the eyes of airport security.

Peanut butter (and other liquids) are allowed onboard in small quantities, so if you have a premade peanut butter sandwich, you’ll be fine. If you want to bring some peanut butter for later, you can buy it in mini pouches or individual cups that adhere to the liquids rule. Or, put the peanut butter in your checked bag, where you can bring as much Jif as your heart desires. 

If you’re unsure about bringing something on a plane, the TSA has a helpful search tool on their website. Simply enter what you want to pack and the TSA will show you official rules around bringing the item in both carry-on and checked bags. 

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