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The TSA Just Reminded Travelers That Peanut Butter Is A 'Liquid'—And People Are Not OK

After tweeting out a reminder that jars of peanut butter are not allowed on flights, foodies—and even some peanut butter brands—had something to say about it.

TSA agent inspecting a bag; woman eating peanut butter
Bob Riha, Jr./Getty Images, PeopleImages/GettyImages

People went nuts after the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) reminded air passengers that peanut butter is considered a liquid.

That means the average 28 oz. jar of Skippy or Jif Peanut Butter would have to be packed in your checked-in luggage prior to boarding your flight.

Travelers wishing to get their peanut butter fix mid-flight will have to make sure the amount of the good stuff they carry on is 3.4oz or less.

TSA alerted travelers on March 21, tweeting:

"You may not be nuts about it, but TSA considers your PB a liquid. In carry-on, it needs to be 3.4oz or less."
"Make sure all your travel-sized liquids fit in one quart-sized bag."

The accompanying graphic explained what constitutes a liquid.

"Peanut butter...a liquid has no definite shape and takes a shape dictated by its container."

People are nut so happy.

The rule was challenged.

Others mocked TSA's announcement with sarcasm.

Even Skippy Peanut Butter brand got in on the roasting with a seven-second TikTok clip of an individual putting packets of peanut butter into a Ziploc bag.

The video explained:

"POV: me packing my carry on after TSA announced Peanut Butter is a liquid."

While the announcement sent shockwaves to the peanut butter-loving community, a TSA rep told the New York Post the regulation was nothing new and has been in effect for nearly two decades.

TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein explained:

“TSA classifies items that you can spill, spread, spray, pump or pour as needing to be 3.4 ounces or smaller to fit into a 3-1-1 bag."
“There has been no change in the categorization of any of these items, including peanut butter, which is a spreadable and thus falls under the 3.4-ounce limit.”

That didn't stop people from arguing over the semantics stipulated in TSA's rule.

The TSA noted that there have been no changes made since the categorization rule was established in 2006.

Farbstein said it was part of TSA's “3-1-1” rule for travelers in which:

“each passenger is limited to one quart-size bag of liquids, gels, spreadables and aerosols that must be 3.4 ounces or less (that’s 100 ml, which is the international standard)."

Creamy dips, hummus, jam, and jelly also apply under the same category as peanut butter.

While many people scoffed at TSA's reminder of the peanut butter rule, there may be a valid reason for the TSA to be cautious.

Last December, a Rhode Island man was arrested at JFK airport in New York City after an officer found parts of a disassembled .22 caliber semi-automatic handgun in jars of Jif peanut butter in his checked-in luggage.

Officials revealed the gun's magazine was loaded with bullets.

John Essig, TSA’s Federal Security Director for JFK Airport, said:

“The gun parts were artfully concealed in two smooth creamy jars of peanut butter, but there was certainly nothing smooth about the way the man went about trying to smuggle his gun."
“Our officers are good at their jobs and are focused on their mission—especially during the busy holiday travel period."