TSA Confiscates Cupcake Because of Frosting

It’s the season for holiday traveling by train, bus and airplane — meaning that, it’s also the season for a story about an incident involving TSA. MSNBC reports that a cupcake (red velvet, packed in an 8-ounce mason jar) was confiscated by a TSA agent at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas from Rebecca Hains, a 35-year-old communications professor at Salem State University in Massachusetts, on the grounds that its frosting looked “enough like a gel to violate TSA restrictions on allowing liquids and gels onto flights to prevent them from being used as explosives.”

The cupcake and another one like it, also packed in a Mason jar, had passed through security at Logan International Airport in Boston earlier in the week. Hains informed the Las Vegas agent about the cupcake having cleared security earlier, but was told that the Boston TSA agent had not been doing her or his job and that the cupcake was a “security threat,” as she related to told NBC station WHDH.

The TSA agent “didn’t seem to believe that the pastry might actually explode, but that it fit the bureaucratic definition of a potentially dangerous item,” as Raw Story comments. Hains acknowledges that it was just a cupcake but also says that the Las Vegas agent’s logic was “terrible”:

“It’s not really about the cupcake; I can get another cupcake. It’s about an encroachment on civil liberties. We’re just building up a resistance and tolerance to all these things they’re doing in the name of security, when it’s really theater. It is not keeping us safe.”

Indeed: Are TSA agents basing their judgments on what constitutes a “security threat” based first and foremost on hypothetical criteria, rather than on an actual assessment of the actual situation, items and so forth?

TSA spokesman Nico Melendez says that “passengers are allowed to take cakes and cupcakes through checkpoints.” Based on Hains’s experience, it seems a policy about whether frosting is allowed may be needed, too.

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Photo by kristin_a (Meringue Bake Shop)


Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

Friend I.
Past Member 4 years ago

Mark S., Nope! Not after they scan you and see the cupcake. lol

Friend I.
Past Member 4 years ago

The good people seem to always suffer in some way because of the evil others create.

Wayne Bradley
Wayne Bradley4 years ago

It's just gotten out of hand. If terrorists want to do something, they will find a way.

Nikolas Karman
Nikolas K4 years ago

Smells like the same crap we got fed about Saddam Husseins weapons of mass destruction and his crime was to tell America they had to pay in Euros for his oil so he had to be eliminated and Americans like a herd of sheep bellowed for his blood now they are crying out in self righteousness indignation when the same system has bitten the hands that feed them. Its called Karma my dear Americans and your country is going to have a lot to work through before the century is out.

Sheri Schongold
Sheri Schongold5 years ago

Somebody in the TSA was hungry for sweets.

Katherine Babiak
Katherine Babiak5 years ago

How many absurd mistakes will TSA agents make before we finally get some training for them, or better, get some people working there who are actually able to THINK, Right now they are such automatons that there is no consideration or intelligence shown. They humiliate, jeopardize and endanger instead of making us safer.

kimberly m.
kimberly Mathews5 years ago

TSA agents are idiots... they need more training.

Amaya Karimi
Rain Montrose6 years ago

Yes looks like a bomb, smells like a bomb, have to wonder if they tasted it.. to see if it was a bomb..good grief talk about paranoia ..look honestly if terrorists seriously wanted to blow up a plane I am sure they would be packing more then a cupcake to do it...maybe a pound cake or two!

Jane R.
Jane R6 years ago

What does frosting have to do with anything? Couldn't explosives be placed inside of the cupcake? And how abouot cookies, they could contain explosive materials also. I guess they have to ban all food products on flights. What a stupid world we live in!!! I'm all for security but hey, where do they draw the line??