Can You Bring Frozen Food On a Plane? 2024

Frozen meals and food, in general, are game changers when traveling.

And whether you wanted to bring a frozen piece of casserole, frozen baby food or milk, you may be wondering what are the rules and the regulations on taking this form of food on planes.

Here is a quick answer.

In general frozen food is permitted in both carry-on and checked baggage, but when transported in carry-on baggage, the food must be totally frozen when presented at the security checkpoint otherwise it won’t be accepted.

Let’s find out more details on how to travel with frozen food on planes and how to pack it in both carry-on and checked baggage.

Let’s dive right in.

frozen  food (fish)
Photo by Los Muertos Crew on

Can You Bring Frozen Food On a Plane?

Carry on Baggage / Hand Luggage

The TSA have clear rules when traveling with these types of food, you can bring any type of frozen food through the security checkpoint and on board the airplane.

But there are some rules you need to follow.

Here is a screenshot from the TSA website:

If the frozen food is transported in ice it needs to fully be solid and frozen.

Unless you are traveling with a child, If the ice is melted or the food is in liquid form the security agent won’t let it pass through the security checkpoint.

I checked the social media to find more answers:

Melissa asked the TSA if frozen vacuum packed beef brisket is allowed in carry-on luggage.

The TSA customer service replied that frozen food items are good to go in carry-on bags.

Even frozen Crappies are accepted in carry-on bags.

If you are taking the food in a small separated bag, ensure that you stay within your airline carry-on size and weight.
Remember that your bag needs to fit within your airline carry-on or personal item size limits.

If the bag you want to bring exceeds the airline dimensions, the bag will be subject to checked baggage rules.

Checked Luggage

Frozen food is allowed in checked baggage and there are no restrictions on how much you can bring.

The most beneficial part of taking food in checked baggage is that you don’t need to stress yourself at the security checkpoint.

Even though it is not recommended to send any frozen food on hold the airplane.

Checked baggage is not always handled carefully, so there are more chances your bag or item will be tossed around.

How To Pack Frozen Food For Both Carry-on And Checked Baggage?

You will need to do some prior packing to keep your food frozen while traveling

Here is some tips to follow:

  • Freeze the food several hours before the flight: freezing the food a few hours before you head to the airport, will help gain some time and prevent the food or the ice from melting at the airport or while you are on your flight.
  • Use ice packs: ice packs stay frozen longer than ice blocks and ice blocks, so add a few ice packs to maintain the temperature of the food (to a better result freeze the ice packs a few days before you use them).
  • Use a cooler or an insulated thermal bag to maintain the temperature of your food in both carry-on and checked bags, ensure that you take a quality cooler to last t during the trip.
  • Use aluminum foil: even when you take the food in a cooler, if you use aluminum foil, you will guarantee the food to stay longer and for even days.
  • The temperature in the cargo hold is cooler compared with the cabin so if it happens that you take the food in checked baggage there is nothing to worry about.

Can You Bring Frozen Soup On a Plane?

You can bring frozen soup on a flight in both your carry on and checked bags.

There are no limits on the amount of soup you can bring as long as it is solid.

If the soup is not frozen, unfortunately you won’t be able  to take a large amount on board, only 3.4 oz / 100 ml of liquids are allowed onboard.

This size doesn’t make sense if you want to take a decent amount of soup.

On the other hand if you are traveling with a child you can bring soup for your child even if it is not frozen and exceeds the amount mentioned above.

Take Frozen Food On International Flights

Taking food in general to some countries has restrictions;

Countries are afraid of pests or disease that some types of food can bring to their territories.

But you can bring any type of frozen food on an international flight and consume it during your flight, but if you are entering another country you will need to know the rules for that country and if you need to declare the food at customs.

 Here are some rules:

United statesMost meat and fruits and vegetables are not permitted to bring to the US even when frozen, you will need to declare any type of food you bring to the US; There is a really useful website Dontpackapest, where you can search any food, and find out their policies and if it is allowed to bring to the United States.
Canada Canadian authorities have restrictions on the type of food you can bring, especially frozen vegetables, fruits and meat.
United KingdomYou can’t bring frozen meat and dairy products when traveling to the UK from countries outside the European Union.

Final Thoughts

Frozen food is allowed on most domestic flights, in both carry on and checked baggage.

If you are taking frozen food in ice, then the ice needs to be completely frozen before it goes through the security checkpoint otherwise it won’t be permitted on board the airplane.

If the ice or food is melted you will need to place it inside your checked bag.

Just  ensure that you pack your food neatly to avoid any leaks and mess up your bag.

I hope this answered all your questions about traveling with frozen food in both carry on and checked baggage.

We hope this helps

Happy travels

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