Are Passengers Allowed to Take Frozen Steaks Aboard an Airliner?


Around the holidays and hunting season, air travelers may wish to carry frozen steaks or meat onto a flight. Travelers flying within the United States have the freedom to carry uncooked meat on board or in checked luggage. International travelers, however, should never try to import fresh agricultural products by plane.

Domestic Flights

Non-liquid food products are allowed on board domestic flights in the U.S. without restriction, according to the Transportation Security Administration. This includes fresh foods such as frozen steak.

Frozen steaks
Frozen steaks (Image: Photosiber/iStock/Getty Images)

International Travel

International flights have more restrictions about both processed and unprocessed foods such as steak and meat. The U.S. Department of Agriculture forbids carrying meat or wild game into the country without a license.

Airplane in sky
Airplane in sky (Image: Ivan Cholakov/iStock/Getty Images)


Frozen steaks should be packed hygienically, but not sealed in a container, as airport security must be able to unwrap and access the meat for inspection at the security gate.

Frozen steaks in vacuum sealed packaging
Frozen steaks in vacuum sealed packaging (Image: Juanmonino/iStock/Getty Images)

Dry Ice states that passengers can preserve their cold products with up to two kilograms (4.4 pounds) of dry ice in an appropriate container carried on board an airplane. The container should have vents, meet size regulations for carry-on baggage and contain no wet ice.

Dry ice on concrete
Dry ice on concrete (Image: chorboon_photo/iStock/Getty Images)


Most restricted products that are openly declared at customs will simply be seized and destroyed. U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents will impose fines on travelers who fail to declare agricultural products.

Travelers going through U.S. Customs
Travelers going through U.S. Customs (Image: james steidl/iStock/Getty Images)

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