There is a new TSA screening procedure certain to cause angst among frequent flyers and leisure travelers alike. TSA stations have been obtaining additional training for organic material, otherwise known as food items.
How I Found Out About New TSA Security Screening Procedures for Food
I was subject to this new security screening today at Columbia Metropolitan Airport (CAE). Passengers were required to remove all food items from their bags. We had to place them in a bin for separate x-ray scanning.
During my time in line, every passenger with food had their bin separated from the belt for additional screening. Organic items were being verbally noted as they went though the x-ray machine. Agents on the other end of the x-ray took each bin. They then performed a visual inspection as well as swabbed for explosives.
This new process was in addition to the new procedures also announced for all electronics larger than a cell phone. Those now must also be taken out at many US checkpoints.
I asked a TSA agent if this was another item the TSA was testing. I was told no, that airports around the country were receiving training for “organics”. As each airport becomes certified, this process will allegedly become standard process.
Can These Changes Be Confirmed?
I sought out confirmation of the new policy. I only ran across one other article on a food website today noting this change. The recent TSA press releases do not appear to confirm the change.
If accurate, the new TSA screening procedure will most affect passengers who bring outside food into the airport. It will also slow down security lines due to the additional checks. Airports with concessions before security might see those businesses affected if passengers reduce their food purchases.
A separate set of new security screening measures will take effect on Thursday for all US-bound international flights. Under the new screening procedures, passengers may be subject to security screening interviews conducted by airline personnel.