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Burrito vs. the TSA

This is a query that can only be answered on Chowhound...

EARLY tomorrow morning I have an LA to Tampa flight. Today I have to work all day today and the go STRAIGHT to class tonight. Class ends past 8pm then I gotta go home and pack and get to bed.

Originally, I had planned to get a burrito after class (I go to school in Taco Truck Heaven) to take with me on the plane to grub on on this long flight. But upon thinking this over, I think I might have a problem with the TSA, the burritos are wrapped in foil and ... I think the colorful nickname of "Silver Bullet" might be a little too close for confort when it goes through the Screener's X-Ray! (And add that to the fact that my coloring and facial features fit a certain 'profile'...:P) This is a business flight, I CAN NOT miss it...

So, am I just being paranoid or should I just change my option to Bahn Mi... Which is fine, but day old and refrigerated Bahn Mi is not as good as a burrito... Oh, and the terminal of the flight, has NOTHING in it... not even a freakin' starbux! :P

WWaHD? (What would a hound do?)


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  1. Dommy- Just chill it and re-wrap it in plastic wrap before you leave the house. I travel with food all the time without incident but you never can predict what will happen with the TSA. They sometimes have at least one good employee working and if you go through his or her line you might have a problem. Also, I've had very tasty things taken away right before lunchtime (no joke- that threat to domestic security-- the deviled egg).

    1. Don't look for trouble. Put some fruit and cookies in a clear plastic bag.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ChinoWayne

        This is a LONG @$$ direct flight, I have to check into the office before in the morning, so probably won't have time for a good breakfast. Once I arrive, I have to rush from the airport to a business dinner in Clearwater... I don't think I could make it through with just 'snacks'. I need some sorta lunch and would perfer not to buy one of those 'boxed' things Delta sells...


        1. re: Dommy

          Hi Dommy,
          I work for TSA @ LAX. To play it safe, put your burrito in wax paper or in a ziploc bag. It should go through the xray with no problems. You don't want "them" handling your food stuff. ;)

      2. I've taken a burrito through security OK-- I usually just make a point of asking, "concerned", whether it's OK to bring food through, and they assure you that it is and send you through. (I can't remember if mine was wrapped in foil, though.. hmmmm... Can you rewrap in waxed paper and several layers of plastic before heading out?)

        Every airport experience is different, though (as we known from Harry Shearer)
        Can you pack some less controversial backup snacks, in case they make you toss the burrito after all?

        1. I've traveled with a wrap before...similar to a burrito, no? Repackage it in your own wrapper -- a ziplock or the like and I think you're good to go. And bring some fruit as a backup! Travel safely!

          1 Reply
          1. re: geg5150

            Thanks!! I think I'll do that! Whee!!! :) I am bringing my gourmet gorp as well, if anything so I have something to give to my poor co-worker. He's more scatter brained that I am!!


          2. I don't know what a hound would do, but I would just rewrap the burrito in plastic wrap.

            In Tampa, try La Estrellita Cafe? for cheap Cubanos. There's one near the airport.

            2 Replies
            1. re: chocolatetartguy

              Thanks for the rec... Sadly this business trip is one I'm being dragged around on. Not anytime to explore Tampa or the area... :P


              1. re: Dommy

                Just in case..., I got the name wrong. It's La Teresita and there is one in Clearwater too.

            2. A couple months ago I was coming back to LA from Oakland with food I picked up on my way to the airport. As I walked through the metal detector I saw a couple TSA folks peering in the paper bag holding my dinner.

              The one in charge looked at me with a straight face and said, "You can keep the chips, you can keep the burrito, but I have to take the salsa."


              5 Replies
              1. re: ks in la

                Yeah, I am bringing other snacks including Pita Chips, and I figured I couldn't bring along Hummus... :P


                1. re: Dommy

                  You brine Pita Chips and GORP? What's the benefit?

                  I thought it was a misspelling, but you used it twice.

                  1. re: czaplin

                    No, it's my penchant for hit and run posting and hence typos... LOL! So sorry, I do usually just inflict this type of confusion to the LA and Home Cooking Boards... ;)


                2. re: ks in la

                  Whatever you decide, take no dessert or pastry containing marzipan.

                  It smells like plastique and you'll be bitten by a sniffer dog. For sure.

                  1. re: ks in la

                    Going OUT of Tampa, we ended up sending our Ted Peters smoked fish spread into the baggage compartment (in a collapsible cooler) because we had been warned that anything liquid is a no-no, and anything semi-liquid or goopy or pasty might ALSO be a no-no. So, I don't know about the INSIDES of a burrito. (Next thing you know, someone will contrive some kind of explosive out of something that looks like frijoles refritos.)

                  2. Re-wrap in plastic, seal in a baggie.

                    1. pb&j and celery...keeps for hours...ask for apple juice with your "snacks" and that should work.

                      I always load up on my own mix of nuts and dried berries, a chunk of cheese and a jalapeno pepper for the flight. That and a couple of crossword puzzles, some sani-wipes, a little chocolate mint thingee and I am set. Picnic!

                      1. I flew home from Philly with an entire pizza wrapped in aluminum foil in my bags. I just made sure to inform the TSA people before I put my bags through, and there was no problem.

                        1. I brought a cheesesteak and several pretzels with mustard on my flight from Philly to LAX a few weeks ago... wrapped the cheesesteak in wax paper, and they didn't even take the mustard!