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Peanut butter is a liquid, TSA says

Whether it's creamy or crunchy, it's not allowed in your carry-on.

WASHINGTON — The Transportation Security Administration has some people wondering if the agency is nuts after it declared once and for all that peanut butter is a liquid — and it's not allowed through security. 

While the TSA website has long warned travelers that peanut butter needs to be under the 3.4 fluid ounce limit for liquids in carry-on bags, a podcaster stirred up conversation about the topic when he tweeted about his experience having to surrender his jar of Jif at airport security.

"I tried to take peanut butter through airport security," Patrick Neve tweeted. "TSA: Sorry, no liquids, gels, or aerosols. Me: I want you to tell me which of those things you think peanut butter is."

The tweet has been viewed more than 10.5 million times, according to Twitter. 

The TSA has weighed in with a definitive answer: It's a liquid. For security purposes, at least.

In a cheeky follow-up post on social media, the TSA shared its definition of a liquid, which "has no definite shape and takes a shape dictated by its container." According to the TSA, that does apply to peanut butter. 

"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," the agency captioned the post.

Some people wondered what else might be considered a liquid under this definition — does it apply to sand? Sugar? Cats? The TSA added Thursday that more than 3.4 ounces of nacho cheese sauce is also off-limits, so well-prepared travelers will want to check the rules on other spreadable substances in advance.

Best bet is to pack your PB in a checked bag, or opt for personal-size packets for your peanut butter fix.


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