Hand luggage: Expert reveals what passengers can pack

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Buying food at the airport can be costly, so if you’re looking to save money, you may consider taking your own packed lunch or snacks in your hand luggage. While passengers are allowed to bring food through security and onto a flight, there are some restrictions. 

Under the UK Government’s liquid rules, most passengers know they can not bring drinks or other liquids in containers over 100ml through security.

However, what you might not realise is that this rule also extends to some food items.

Gov.uk states: “Liquids in containers larger than 100ml generally cannot go through security even if the container is only part full. There are some exemptions.”

Therefore, any food which can be classified as a liquid in a container larger than 100ml is banned.

This includes sauces, jams and preserves, honey, chutney and vinegar.

Rich Quelch, an expert from Lifestyle Packaging explained: “Condiments and preserves are considered by airlines as liquid foods.

“Therefore, they cannot be over 100ml individually, or above one litre collectively.

“So, take care to check the volume of any liquid food items you want to bring home before you buy.”

Similarly, dips such as hummus and guacamole are also banned from being brought onboard, unless they are in a container less than 100ml.

However, there is a rather odd exception to this.

If you spread hummus or guacamole onto a slice of bread and packaged it, this would then be considered acceptable and exempt from the liquid rule.

Jars of olives and gherkins are similarly subject to the liquid rule, due to the brine they are stored in.

Mr Quelch added: “Olives in brine, or any other food item in brine or oil like gherkins or sundried tomatoes, also count as a liquid item when flying with hand luggage so you’ll need to confine it to jars, cans and pouches under 100ml.”

While hard cheese would be fine in your hand luggage, soft cheese is banned from being brought through security.

Of course, passengers who do plan on travelling with cheese or any other dairy product should also check any import restrictions of their destination.

For example, when travelling from a non-EU country into the EU, passengers are not allowed to bring any meat or dairy products with them.

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You can however bring a limited quantity of fruit and vegetables as well as eggs, egg products and honey.

Liquid foods in containers of 100ml or less may be brought onboard but must be placed in your clear, plastic bag at security.

Baby food and milk are exempt from the liquid rule at UK airports.

Gov.uk states: “When travelling with a baby you’re allowed to take enough baby food, baby milk and sterilised water for the journey.

“There is no legal limit to how much you can take however check with your airport before you travel.

“You can carry breast milk in hand luggage even if you’re not travelling with a baby.

“Individual containers of breast milk must hold no more than 2,000ml.”

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