I recently took a flight from the Netherlands to Italy. On that flight I used as only luggage a backpack, which I normally use for daily shopping.

On my arrival in Italy I noticed that I had forgot in my backpack a 500 ml brick of tomato sauce. Apparently it went unnoticed through the security controls.

Should I report this to the departure airport? My main concern is not that I did something forbidden, but that their security controls are somehow lousy.

  • What is a "brick"? Is it a pack of smallers cans? Were each of those cans under 100ml? – user13044 Oct 11 '17 at 7:07
  • 1
    @Irked It's a carton – user40521 Oct 11 '17 at 7:24
  • The 500ml carton usually is a prepackaged item, thus it should be exempt from the liquids restriction and wasn't missed but also wasn't against regulations. – Adwaenyth Oct 11 '17 at 10:20
  • 5
    @Adwaenyth: Prepackaged item has the same rules. Just seat stuff brought in duty free are exempt (and not always across further airports). – Giacomo Catenazzi Oct 11 '17 at 10:22
  • @GiacomoCatenazzi Well the question would then be, what does Tomato sauce look like under a baggage scanner? – Adwaenyth Oct 11 '17 at 10:24

Forget about it. This happens all the time.

It's documented that TSA in the US misses ~90% of test devices and there are regular reports of prohibited but otherwise harmless items, knives, firearms passing undetected. This is widely known in the travel community and no cause for concern.

Be happy you got to keep you tomato sauce.


No. It happens, also for knives (and fake test bombs/firearms).

It seems that the success rate should be around 70% to 80%, in order to discourage terrorist plans. New attacks require new ways, so better not to ruin a new methods (which will alarm security around the world).

In general, I would also not write it on Stack Exchange (or Internet). It could help bad guys to find ways to bypass security.

The security people are regularly tested with fake baggage in own control belt (and they get some statistics about success rate). Reporting will not help further.

  • 2
    Trust me, they know, much better than any random schmuck on the 'Net. It is a long accepted maxim that security by obscurity doesn't work. – chx Oct 11 '17 at 14:51
  • 2
    Liquid bans are a security theater, not a real safety measure. – JonathanReez Oct 11 '17 at 15:23
  • Yeah, liquids are potentially explosive, so they confiscate it, and throw into bins filled with other confiscated potentially explosive liquids and located in most congested part of airport. Makes sense;) – el.pescado May 23 '18 at 9:59

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.