Yogurt On No-Fly List

According to Merriam-Webster, yogurt is a "semisolid food," but according to the TSA it’s a liquid. Or a gel. Either way, it’s not getting through airport security in quantities greater than 3 ounces.

Who knew this?

I don’t mean to suggest that the TSA is unfairly profiling dairy products. (Although there was that whole cheese bomb thing that never quite added up.) I suppose that where a dictionary sees a semisolid, a government agency might reasonably see a semiliquid.

And to be honest, I did consider briefly when packing my yogurt whether it might be considered a liquid. I concluded that it could not. It does not flow freely. I then considered whether it might be considered a gel, and here a sliver of doubt crept in. I knew that my moisturizer was considered a gel. Why not yogurt?

Still, I ended up rejecting the notion on the grounds that I wanted to bring yogurt. Besides, nobody would ever call a yogurt a gel, though perhaps they might refer to it as some kind of custard or cream.

These, it would seem, are the distinctions that fools and editors make. (I’m an editor, just for the record.) TSA agents are less literal.

I did not argue with the TSA agent because she was very nice, and it would be fruitless and I would be, either way, yogurt-less. And, indeed, when I got home and consulted the prohibited items list I found that yogurt was among the food and drink items officially not permitted in quantities greater than 3 ounces.

My bad.


One thought on “Yogurt On No-Fly List

  1. sad father

    TSA stole my little girl’s yogurt too! Outrageous!!! I thought it was unusual, but apparently not. They seem to think the public is safer not having people including little girls eating yogurt in the terminals. I’m calling them YOGURT POLICE from now on.


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