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Can you Bring Beef Jerky on a Plane?

If you’ve ever been on a plane before, you know that a specific set of rules apply to all passengers. Among many things that these rules outline are the items that you can and cannot carry with you on a plane. Things are pretty strict regarding food, which I’ll be talking about today.

Things are confusing when it comes to dry food, such as beef jerky. Considering that these dried thin strips of meat are regarded as dry food, the limitations aren’t as aggressive as with liquids. So, to answer the question, yes, you can bring beef jerky on a plane.

The TSA states that any dry foods, like beef jerky, can either be put in your carry-on or your checked bag. They also recommend packing it separately from other items so that a TSA agent can easily inspect it if needed. Here is a direct response from @AskTSA.

With that said, some airlines may not allow you to consume it during the flight, so double-check that beforehand. In either case, you will have no problem getting it on the plane.

How to Pack Beef Jerky for a Flight

beef jerky in a bag

When it comes to packing beef jerky, there are a few things to consider. For the most part, people tend to store it in an airtight jar, which keeps it fresh for longer. While that may do the trick at home, it can be problematic when you’re traveling.

Bringing a glass jar means that you take up more volume and add additional weight from the container itself. With this in mind, my recommendation is to go for plastic bags with zip locks, as they are flexible and weigh a few grams. This is especially crucial if you plan on putting the beef jerky in the checked-in baggage.

Speaking of the type of baggage you’ll put the beef jerky in, it depends on your preferences. If you’re willing to grab a snack during the flight, as long as the airline allows that, then pack it in the carry-on bag, preferably at the top, so that it can be easier to reach. On the other hand, if you don’t plan to eat it, then it wouldn’t make a huge difference where you put it. You can even put it in the checked baggage since you won’t be needing it mid-flight. For this case, it all boils down to your preference and the available space you have.

Can I Bring Beef Jerky Through Airport Security?

Yes, going through security with beef jerky won’t be a problem. TSA has no restrictions on it, so you should be good to go. With that said, you should make sure to pack it separately from other items within your bag so that it is easily accessible.

Lastly, the final decision comes from the TSA officer checking your luggage. Worst case scenario would be that it may get confiscated.

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Can I Bring Beef Jerky to Europe?

Traveling within the US with a bag of beef jerky isn’t a problem. It’s not forbidden, and you shouldn’t expect any problems or restrictions. What about traveling abroad, for example somewhere in Europe? Things are a bit different over there, but the general rule is more or less the same.

The general rule is similar to what the TSA enforces for the US. On the EU’s website, you’ll find the information that meat products are allowed to be carried with you, as long as they are for your personal consumption. This means that you can bring a small bag or two with beef jerky, and you shouldn’t have any problems with it.

On the other hand, larger quantities may be subject to investigation, resulting in some fines or confiscation. On top of this, the rules may vary a bit from one country to another, so you should check the destination country for the specifics.

On the other hand, if you plan to take the beef jerky with you as a snack for the road, whatever the destination rules are, they won’t apply to you.

How Long will Beef Jerky Remain Fresh When Packed for a Plane?

This entirely depends on the type of packaging you’ll be using. While I mentioned that traveling with a jar isn’t the most convenient way, considering that it’s an airtight container, you are looking at several months of freshness. Bags with zip locks are the more convenient option, but they won’t keep the beef jerky fresh for too long.

Choosing which path to take will depend on the amount of space you have and the duration of your visit. If you’re planning on staying for a week or two, then the bags will do an excellent job as you will be saving some space and reducing the weight without sacrificing the freshness.

Related Article: How Long Does Dehydrated Food Last

On the other hand, if you plan on staying for a few months and want to keep the jerky fresh for the entire time, you have two options. You can either pack it in a jar from home and be done with it. The second option is to carry the beef jerky in a plastic bag and purchase a jar when you arrive at your destination. Regardless of which option you choose, you are looking at options that will keep it fresh for a longer time.

Andov Slavcho

Slavcho Andov is a part-time freelancer and full-time geek. He's a board game enthusiast, tech junkie, amateur photographer and Sith lord. Ohh...and he loves to travel.