Tampa International Airport – Tampa – Friday, 1.18.2019

With no end in sight to the record-breaking government shutdown, federal employees are expected to work without paychecks. This group of 800,000 workers includes TSA agents monitoring passengers at airports around the country.

As the political standoff continues, TSA agents are reportedly supplementing food costs by targeting passenger snacks and drinks.

TSA Agent asks lady about her doughnut
TSA Agent asking lady if she is going to finish her doughnut.

“It’s ridiculous,” said passenger David Mayberry, who boarded a flight to Baltimore from Tampa International Airport. “The TSA agent confiscated my doughnut to be ‘tested,’ and came back a minute later with powder on his face. He had a cup of coffee in his hand that I saw him take from the lady ahead of me.”

Legally, food and drinks purchased at the airside terminal are allowed on planes, but even those items are being taken for “testing,” and brought to an area that has been identified as a TSA break room.

Jeannette Steinman, president of consumer watchdog group Eyes On Skies, advises passengers to be wary of “enhanced security questions” asked by TSA agents. They include:

*Are you going to finish that?
*Ooooh, whatcha got there?
*Does that have nuts in it? I’m allergic to peanuts.
*Is that Macchiato made with regular milk or soy milk?

According to Steinman, these are not official TSA questions, and a sign that your agent is overworked, underpaid and hungry. She advises travelers to wolf down their food before getting to a security checkpoint, or squeezing it into condoms and swallowing them, like a drug mule.  

Liam C. Merio-Hull
Tampa News Force Special Report

Liam C. Merio-Hull

Merio-Hull is a former pickleball and lawn bowling medalist in the Florida Senior Games. He has previously written for the Okeechobee Ledger and the Weeki Wachee Weporter.

Join the Conversation


  1. This is the dumbest thing I have ever read in my life. I’m guessing the blogger here….was mad that his doughnut was tested and was mad that he had to throw away his drink knowing full well the liquids rule. I’m sorry you’re so petty and dumb that you have to make up these scenarios and stories in your mind and your conceivable solution is putting food in a condom and sneaking it through. That is one way to get people banned from the airlines. Good job. Retire from writing. You’re horrendous at it. You’re dreams of being a journalist should end now before you get yourself homeless.

  2. Not funny, especially in today’s climate where morons believe every dumb thing on the internet. This story qualifies as that!

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