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But What If America Has A Peanut Allergy?!

, , , , , , | Working | June 8, 2022

I’m going through a TSA checkpoint at my local airport. 

TSA Agent #1: “Please remove any food, electronics, and liquids from your bag and place them directly into the bin.”

In an attempt to save money, I’d packed a peanut butter and jelly sandwich to eat at the airport.

Me: “Will my sandwich cause a problem?”

TSA Agent #1: “As long as it is outside of your backpack as it goes through the scanner, it will be fine.”

I follow the instructions and observe that other lines are moving much faster than mine. [TSA Agent #2], who is reviewing the screen, is pulling almost every bag for further review. By the time I get to her, she informs me that my peanut butter sandwich is causing the alarm (despite being removed from my luggage) and that my entire carry-on will need to be checked.

I offer to throw the sandwich away but she insists that now that I’ve entered the checkpoint it needs to be checked — for explosives, I presume?

[TSA Agent #3] is reviewing bags that have been pulled. Almost everyone that was in front of me in line one is now in front of him as he empties their bags and swabs their items to find the offending item (which, for many people, is nonexistent). I can tell he’s starting to get exasperated.

After several minutes, I finally get to him.

Me: “My bag got pulled because of this sandwich. I can just throw it away.”

My sandwich, which was made much earlier in the day, is admittedly looking kind of smooshed and sad. At this point, I’d rather throw it away and buy the overpriced airport food.

He looks at me, looks at my pitiful sandwich, and looks at [TSA Agent #2] who is still sending almost everyone in her line to him for further review. Other agents in nearby lines are not pulling nearly the same number of items for review. He hands me my items back without another glance.

TSA Agent #3: “I’m pretty sure your peanut butter and jelly sandwich is not a threat to national security.”

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