Can You Take a Thermometer On a Plane? (Meat, Weather, etc ..)

If you are planning to bring a thermometer on your next flight it can be trickier than it seems at first.

Because it all depends on what kind of thermometer you’re talking about and if it has mercury or not.

Today, we will explore the rules of taking thermometers on flights, including digital, infrared and mercury thermometers, in addition to some valuable insights to help you navigate these regulations with ease.

Let’s dive right in.

Image / Unsplash
ThermometersCarry-on luggage Checked luggage
Meat and food thermometerAllowed Allowed
Digital ThermometerAllowed Allowed
Infrared thermometersAllowed Allowed
Thermometer with mercury Allowed if you are a representative of a government weather bureau or similar agencyNot Allowed
Medical clinical thermometers with mercuryNot Allowed Only one small thermometer for personal use

Can You Take a Thermometer In Hand Luggage?

The TSA And FAA Rules

The TSA and the FAA ( The Transportation Security Administration ) are in charge of the safety of air travel within the US, so they regulate what you can and can’t bring on planes within and from the United States.

The TSA mentioned weather barometer or thermometer ( mercury ), and medical-clinical thermometer ( mercury ) on its website but they didn’t mention other types of thermometers like meat or oven thermometer.

Only representatives of a government weather bureau or similar agencies are permitted to take these types of devices in carry-on baggage as they contain more mercury than consumer devices.

TSA website

The FAA and the TSA permits one small Medical-Clinical Thermometer ( with Mercury) per passenger for personal use in checked bags only.

They also highlighted that thermometers with red lines instead of silver do not have mercury inside and they are not restricted from carry-on bags, unless they operate with lithium batteries.

Can You Take Meat Thermometers On a Plane?

Given that all types of meat are good to bring on planes, the TSA didn’t mention meat thermometers in their list of allowed or prohibited items.

So I checked their social media to find some answers.

Lorraine already posed the question to the TSA customer service if she can bring this meat thermometer in her carry-on.

They gave them the green light ” digital meat thermometers are allowed to transport in carry-on bags”.

Generally meat thermometers are safe but the concern is their sharp steel probe, which can cause damage or harm when used with some bad guy on certain situations.

This is why the TSA always declares that the final decision rests with the officer at the security checkpoint.

However, even if an item is generally permitted, it may be subject to additional screening or not permitted if it sett of the alarm during the screening process or poses other security concerns based on size or weight. The final decision rests with the TSA officer at the security checkpoint.

Rose wanted to bring this infrared thermometer in its original package with alkaline batteries in her carry-on bag.

The TSA customer service replied that infrared thermometers and alkaline batteries are allowed in carry-on bags.

What about Bluetooth and Galileo thermometers?

Take Thermometers In Checked Baggage

As I pointed out previously, weather barometers and thermometers ( with Mercury ) are not Authorized in checked bags.

But meat, barbecue or food thermometers in general are good to go in checked bags without any restrictions.

And to ensure a safe transportation for your thermometer regardless of its type it is advisable to pack it neatly and prevent any damage or breakage.

You can use a protective case or wrap it in a towel or soft cloth for additional cushioning.

This will assist to avoid any potential damage, especially that checked bags are tossed around like a hot potato.

Tip: Check out this Travelpro Platinum Elite 21” Carry-On Spinner, a sleek and versatile carry-on that is designed to fit within the limits of most airlines, to save you from the hassle of the airports and the pesky airline fees.

Is a Thermometer Allowed In International Flights?

Yes!! generally the exact rules are implemented when traveling with thermometers on both domestic and international flights.

Digital thermometers and infrared thermometers are good to bring due to their safety.

But mercury thermometers, on the other hand, are subject to more restrictions due to their potential risks and toxicity.

However, it is better if you contact your specific airline, to get notified whether the type of thermometer you are taking is allowed or not.

Final Thoughts

You can generally bring meat and food thermometers on planes, in both carry-on and checked bags.

Small medical-clinical thermometers ( with mercury ) are permitted for personal use and in checked bags only.

But you can only take mercury thermometers and barometers in carry-on baggage if you work for a government agency, or you are an agency representative.

We hope this helps

Happy travels

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