I was going through airport security and had two new containers of yummy yogurt confiscated. The TSA agents declined, however, to confiscate an even larger container of tomatoes in salad dressing. Yes, I’m that obnoxious person who brings lunch on the plane instead of purchasing United’s $12 pack of crackers and cheese. I was wondering: What happens to confiscated food items? Do they donate, reuse and/or consume such goodies? – Shoeless at La Plata Field
Have you read about the plan to spend $465,000 on remodeling the Durango airport terminal next year?
It’s supposed to “improve space used by airline staff members.”
A-hah! It’s all the proof we need.
The “remodel” is a secret plan to build a swanky private bistro where airline and TSA staff will dine on confiscated delicacies.
The gourmet menu will change daily depending on what gets seized, but it’s a sure thing to include many jars of Honeyville honey.
Note that the “continental” breakfast will be renamed “united” breakfast because of the airline merger.
Oh, and the “united breakfast” will be frequently canceled because of dubious mechanical situations or crews that don’t show up because they never existed in the first place.
If you bit on that juicy morsel of aviation claptrap, you really need to attend next Monday’s presentation on how to spot and stop fake news. It’s at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 23 at the Durango Public Library.
For a heaping helping of truth, Action Lined called Transportation Security Administration headquarters in Washington, D.C., which put its ace regional public affair manager, Carrie Harmon, on the case.
“No, TSA officers are not snacking on food left at checkpoints,” Carrie assured via email from her Denver office. “Sadly, they are required to throw away food surrendered by passengers.”
Here’s the scoop on liquids or gels. Your carry-on container must not exceed 100 milliliters or 3.4 ounces. That applies to lotion, toothpaste or yogurt.
Most small yogurts come in 4 oz. containers, so you are out of luck.
You could always pack a pair of Go-Gurts. At 56 milliliters each, you wouldn’t trigger an adverse reaction from the TSA, which is lactose intolerant of larger volumes of cultured dairy products.
But you’d be sucking low-fat yogurt from a plastic tube at 30,000 feet. Can airline travel get any more glamorous?
Carrie pointed out that TSA agents really don’t want to ask passengers to give up their lunches.
“So we encourage travelers to check out our list of prohibited items before they go to the airport. They can use the ‘Can I Bring My ...’ tool at www.tsa.gov to enter an item, including food, to find out if it’s allowed in carry-on or checked bags, or not at all,” Carrie added.
As for tomatoes, the TSA site didn’t specifically list those, but they come under the “fresh meat, seafood and vegetables” standard, which allows them to be in carry-ons and packed bags.
Tomatoes are fruits from a purely botanical standpoint. But in 1893, the Supreme Court declared tomatoes to be vegetables. (See Nix v. Hedden, 149 U.S. 304).
It doesn’t really matter anyway, because fresh whole fruits and berries are also allowed both in carry-ons and checked bags.
So are sandwiches and pizza.
Why anyone would pack a pizza in a suitcase is beyond Action Line’s comprehension.
And just to be clear, ice cream cannot be in a carry-on but it can certainly be in checked bag. Seriously.
Likewise for cattle prods and Magic 8 Balls, both of which are not food but it might be of interest to traveling ranchers or itinerant clairvoyants.
Email questions to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail them to Action Line, The Durango Herald, 1275 Main Ave., Durango, CO 81301. You can request anonymity if your seat back and tray table are in the upright and locked position.