Well, The TSA Doesn’t Like Salt

We do our small items Costco shopping during US weekend trips since the New York City stores are not convenient for us to reach. Returning from our Minneapolis weekend I had 3 Himalayan pink salt grinders earmarked for family in China.


I am not a chemist though figured salt might attract security attention. Indeed it does. The TSA scanners flagged my bag for secondary.

TSA did the usual swab test, which was not the end of it. So concerning is salt that I had to break open the packaging on each for individual testing of the crystals, ruining them as gifts. At this point, while the test was being handled as a training session for a new agent, the supervisor suggested that in the future I either put my salt in checked baggage or only carry a few packets.

I did not find any TSA statement on salt, though there is this attempt at humor with regard to powders.

There you have it, 3-1-1-packet is the rule.

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  • Scott


  • John

    Keeping the skies safe from salt-induced hypertension, while adding another example of TSA-induced hypertention. Bravo.

  • Joe C

    On the x-ray, most salts appear similar to a potentially dangerous chemical. That is why T.S.A. wanted to confirm that it was just salt. On the other hand, they should not have needed to open the salt, unless it reacted to the following-up test.

  • Jeff Swid

    I passed through TSA’s secondary swab inspection with one jar of this exact same salt and one jar of TJ cumin two days ago in Houston. They took no notice and didn’t ask me to open either of them.

  • mark

    You give Kirkland salt as gifts?

  • @mark – what mother-in-law requests, mother-in-law gets (at least when it is a Kirkland salt grinder). She brought one back last year and her friends were jealous so these are to share.

  • Mark R.

    Stefan, great to see you’re increasing our exports to China!