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Safe to take hot sauce on plane?

Regular sauce bottles are 5 oz, more than the 3.5 oz TSA limit. Anybody have experience taking a sauce bottle or two on a plane? Did they confiscate your sauce?

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  1. If they find it, they will probably take it. I would check it if you can.

    1. if they find any "too large" bottle it's gone. Go to a drug store and buy those little plastic "shampoo" bottles and pour 3 oz of hot sauce into that. And include in your 3-1-1 bag. BTW - you may want to use a sharpee and write hot sauce on it so the next morning someone does notuse that fancy looking red shampoo on their heair.

      3 Replies
      1. re: jfood

        Caveat, though - one should make certain the right-sized container is food safe. I don't know that I'd be too sure about the travel bottles from the drugstore on this one.

        1. re: cayjohan

          Wow, good point cayjohan. jfood forgot about the vinegar-plastic issue.

          1. re: jfood

            Go to a camping supply store and buy itty-bitty Nalgene bottles. They never leak, and will deal easily with acidic foods. I've used these on many camping trips to transport exotic ingredients, and have never had a mishap.

      2. check it. it's not available where you are going? btw, i transport small glass containers (like hot sauce, mustard, relish) in my checked luggage this way: wrapped in a layer of bubble wrap or paper inside of a large planter's nut tin, or coffee can. then put that within a good zip lock. label it, and tell tsa on the label: "TSA, this is ______, and if you open it, PLEASE re-seal it tightly! thanks"

        1. They've allowed me to take 4 oz, but they will confiscate a 5 oz -- I've had many things confiscated already. : (

          1. As long as it's in your checked luggage, not carry on, you should be fine.

            1. Are you taking it to spice up your blend airplane meal? If so get one of the "regulation" size bottles from your local drug store. Otherwise pack it, but make sure you pack it tight. There is nothing worse than having hot sauce all over your clothes.

              1. if for the airplane food, i have seen miniature tabasco bottles you can get for taking out to restaurants.....

                1 Reply
                1. re: alkapal

                  Chick-fil-A has Texas Pete packets.

                2. Get either the mini tabasco sauce bottle or transfer it into a smaller container you can buy at a Walgreens or something.

                  1. Zero chance as a carry-on. Even if you tried an explanation that the entire bottle was intended for your personal consumption during the flight, (which argument would not prevail), I think the passengers in your row would have a strong argument for a seat relocation.
                    P.S. I have had 5 ounce tubes of toothpaste, that had been clearly squeezed down to less than half their original weight and volume, confiscated.

                    1. I gave my buddy a spice jar of freshly ground home-smoked chipotle powder just before getting on a plane from KC to Seattle. He got searched, TSA guy looked at it. Asked him, "Should I not take a big sniff of this?" Buddy said, "I wouldn't". TSA guy gave it back to him and told him to enjoy the flight.

                      This was a full spice jar of the stuff.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: chileheadmike

                        Dried and powdered items have different standards than liquid or gelatineous items at the point of TSA inspection. I have Penzeys Chipotle Ground Red powder, which is very good; I bet home made is better still.

                        1. re: Veggo

                          I don't know what the standards are, don't even want to pretend to. But I would think that a full spice jar of hot chile powder would present more "danger" than a bottle of tobasco.

                          1. re: chileheadmike

                            Your mistake is using logic to try understand the situation. In any event it pertains only to liquid and gel.

                      2. The classic Tabasco bottle is 2 ounces. It lasts the vast majority of people a long time, although I did have one almost emptied by the flight crew and fellow passengers on a long flight to South America years ago when the late Eastern Airlines provided a particularly bland meal and I offered to share. I travel with one all the time.

                        I have wondered about its potential as a terrorist weapon if it was rubbed into somebody's eyes, because that stuff could put you down for the count for awhile. I'm not trying to put ideas into Homeland Security's heads or they'll take away MY security against blah food..

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: MakingSense

                          I know this is a tangent, but I couldn't help myself. (BTW--everyone's right; you can't get the 5oz on the plane as a carry on.)

                          I used to live on the TX-Mexico border and I fell in love with tumbled fajita. I never had any luck finding it in my hometown up north (just nasty cuts masquerading as fajita). So I decided to bring several pounds of the meat home with me for X-mas last year. Bought a small cooler, bought the meat, called the airport ahead and they told me ice was ok (I know--it melts into a liquid, which is why I called and asked). So off I went with my cooler packed with meat and ice. Of course, the troll under the bridge would not let me pass (read: security), but a cool guy at the bar inside the airport agreed to replace all my ice for free. ("Oh, you've GOTTA bring real fajita to the people up North," he said.)

                          Anyway, my X-Mas feast was almost ruined, but for the kindness of a stranger. Needless to say, my family was fawning over how delicious that well-traveled fajita was.

                          An unopened bottle of tobasco would be ok in your checked bag, though. (Of course, if you can avoid checking a bag, DO.) Safe travels!

                        2. this was years before the whole ban on liquids came about: my husband and i were at the airport in dominica ready to fly home. he had about 5 bottles of crazy dominican hot sauce in his carry-on. security didn't allow him to carry the hot sauce on, saying that it could potentially be used as a dangerous substance/weapon. so he had to put it in his checked luggage. granted, this is pretty hot stuff and just getting a whiff of it would put tears in your eyes, but i was still very surprised. so if it's not an issue of volume for you, you might run in to a problem with bringing on the sauce itself.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: rebs

                            Really? Your security in Dominica was that strict? This summer, my family and I were able to bring home big bottles of rum. The only thing they didn't let you take home was Mamajuana because of all the root herbs and stuff- that's some good stuff though, only available in Dominica.

                            1. re: digkv

                              yeah, i was very surprised. we spoke to my husband's mother (who lives in dominica) afterwards and she said that she had brought bottles of hot sauce and rum on the plane to the states many time with no issues.

                          2. Whatever your opinion of travel regulations, I seriously wouldn't push your luck, as I think they can arrest you if you show up with something that violates the restrictions (in other words, if they think you're trying to flaunt the regulations). I know someone who had a jar of jam thrown out, and I was told I had to discard *empty* plastic water bottles when going on a plane that was going to enter American airspace.

                            1. In the past, we have purchased hot sauces from Caribbean Islands and brought them back to NY with no problem. I do believe they were wrapped and packed in our suitcase which was checked. However, security these days is much stricter and we had some problems with water bottles and some other things coming home from the Bahamas last year, after the new regulations. There was lots of re-arranging and last minute bag checking. So I would say if you're going to try it, I would put it in checked luggage only. I'm pretty certain we brought home a bottle of rum on that trip, so I would think a few small bottles of hot sauce could make it home some way!

                              1. Check it. Don't even try to carry on. I had a tiny tube of mascara in my carry on, and my options were 1) go to the nearest bookstore in the airport and purchase a baggie to place it in or 2) throw it out. It caused sort of a scene in the airport security. I look really non-threatening, and this huge guy was coaching me through everything - "Now, just stay calm and comply with our rules and we won't have a problem. The only time we have problems, is when people get upset."

                                Meanwhile, my sister accidentally left a large bottle of lotion in her carry on that was overlooked.

                                So basically no. no liquids unless they are in a plastic baggie. and none over a certain size. I bet if you want to use it on airplane food, you could ask your server for some during the flight. Unless youre in coach in a overbooked flight, then that may not work.

                                Good luck.

                                1. As long as it's less than 3 oz and it's in your ziploc bag - then fine.