According to the Transportation Security Administration, or TSA, you can take solid food onto a plane if you're traveling within the borders of the United States. If you've been vacationing in a location renowned for special cuisine or if you were especially lucky on a hunting trip, you may have frozen meat that you need to take home. Rather than pay the cost of shipping the meat, pack it correctly and store it in the belly of the plane as checked luggage. Just make sure that you pack the meat properly to ensure both security and food safety.
Clean out the interior of a rigid fiberglass cooler or a Styrofoam cooler. Inspect the cooler to make sure that it has no cracks or holes. Allow the cooler to air dry.
Place a 1/2-inch layer of newspaper at the bottom of the cooler. This will act as absorbent padding and soak up any excess moisture from condensation.
Package your frozen meat in zip-top freezer bags. Purchase sturdy bags with thick walls. Remove as much air as possible from the bags before zipping them shut.
Cover the bottom of the cooler with a layer of frozen freezer packs. These rectangular plastic containers have a liquid sealed inside, and are meant to be frozen over and over and used in coolers and lunch bags. If you can't find enough freezer packs, use frozen bottles of water.
Pack the frozen meat in the cooler, fitting the packages together as tightly as possible. This will prevent the bags from sliding around in the cooler when being moved. Leave enough space at the top of the cooler for another layer of freezer packs or water bottles.
Fill the remaining space in the cooler with frozen water bottles or freezer packs. Fit them on top of and all around the bags of meat to entirely fill the interior of the cooler.
Place the lid on the cooler. Wrap one bungee cord horizontally around the cooler, and another one vertically. Use the shortest bungee cords possible for the tightest fit. Attach a luggage tag with your name and address to the handle of the cooler for easy identification.
Things You Will Need
Fiberglass or Styrofoam ice chest
Zip-top freezer bags
Chill packs or water bottles