Here’s your periodical reminder to be careful of which foods you bring to the airport. Especially if you’re traveling internationally, customs has a lot of restrictions on what can and can’t pass through security—even a half-eaten Subway sandwich can cost you $2,000 in fines if forgotten in your luggage. And if you’re actually trying to smuggle something through, watch out: You’re no match for the Beagle Brigade sniffing out foods hidden in the most creative ways.
Every year, the Transport Security Administration’s year in review involves ranking the strangest finds confiscated by TSA officials throughout the year. And in 2022, the agency managed to turn those rankings into a pun-filled video.
In past years, things like dead sea horses in a brandy bottle and meth wrapped inside a burrito topped the TSA’s list of strangest finds. This year some airline passengers got even more creative—here were the top three weirdest finds:
- Firearm in a jar of peanut butter at John F. Kennedy International Airport. This one was a twofer. Obviously firearms aren’t allowed past security, but in recent years peanut butter has also become a banned item because of pervasive peanut allergies. The passenger disassembled a handgun and wrapped it in plastic so that the peanut butter wouldn’t muck up the works. But the peanut butter mucked him up anyway.
- Gun inside a chicken at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. In this instance, a passenger stuffed a fully assembled handgun into a whole chicken, leading to some X-rated imagery on the TSA’s Instagram account. TSA spokesperson Lisa Farbstein had some fun describing this one to The Washington Post, saying “You should not stuff your chicken with a handgun. Pepperidge Farm stuffing, maybe.”
- Pills in candy packaging at Los Angeles International Airport. Feeding into every parents’ worst fears, two weeks before Halloween a TSA worker allegedly discovered 12,000 pills of suspected fentanyl wrapped inside packages of SweeTarts, Skittles, and Whoppers. Based on the sheer amount and the delivery method, Farbstein called this a “good catch.”
A good rule of thumb when traveling: Don’t try to smuggle anything illegal. And if you do want to bring your own snacks from home, remember to skip anything with peanuts—your best bet is bringing unopened packaged items containing no major allergens, just to be safe. For more advice, head to the TSA’s Instagram page where there’s already plenty of info on what can and cannot fly, no matter how strange.