We are planning a trip on an airplane from Canada. We wanted to know if we could bring fruit aboard, and went to a government of Canada website that explained that we could. However, on the same website there is also this line, that seems to me completely counter to what I think people do on planes:

If you plan to prep your food on the go, keep in mind that small kitchen appliances with blades 6 cm or less (e.g. personal/hand-held blenders, coffee grinders, cheese slicers) are permitted in carry-on baggage.

Website is here: GC guidelines

What does it possibly mean? Why wouldn't the blades of such things be not allowed on a plane, and would someone really bring, say, a blender or a cheese slicer and prepare food on a plane?

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    I can't imagine wanting to do any significant food preparation in the cramped confines of a modern airliner, but people do strange things. One hypothesis on the cause of the crash of Saudi flight 163 was that fire started in the cabin when someone tried to boil tea on a butane stove! – Cannon Fodder Oct 4 at 12:57
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    I imagine it's far more likely that the food prep would happen in the airside of the airport, rather than on the plane itself, but the restriction on what's permitted in carry-on past security is the limiting factor. But who knows. – Mike Harris Oct 4 at 13:40
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    Peeling an apple - bring a peeler, not a 10cm fillet knife. Slicing cheese, bring a cheese slicer, not a 10cm fillet knife. Let your small blender make your banana and orange into a smoothie - don't slice it with a 10cm fillet knife. Etc. Etc. – Keeta Oct 4 at 14:41
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    @MichaelStachowsky Not another huge tabloid headlines like dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2396327/… thesun.co.uk/archives/news/112945/swiss-barmy-knife – Vladimir F Oct 5 at 13:13
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    @VladimirF I loved this line Our reporter had been allowed to buy the £20 knife [...] without being asked to produce a passport or boarding pass As in "how do they dare to sell knifes to the people who are not going to board an airplane". I am left also wondering what good would requiring a passport do. – SJuan76 Oct 5 at 18:55
up vote 28 down vote accepted

"Prep food on the go" means exactly what you think it does: preparing your own food in the airport or on the plane. How often anyone actually does it (especially w.r.t. things like a coffee grinder) is anyone's guess. But the regulation is spelling out the letter of the law: blades less than 6 cm are permitted.

Since the page you linked specifically mentions certain things like smoothies are not permitted, it may be possible to make your own (by bringing fresh fruit and a hand blender). Particularly if you are traveling long distances with a child or infant (or have specific dietary needs), I can see where that would be helpful.

It does conjure up some interesting images, though. (e.g., "Iron Chef Seat 33F")

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    As a direct answer to the question, I agree with your interpretation. I would say though that it's more likely people would bring a blender or coffee grinder because they want it at their destination but don't want to have to check a bag. – David K Oct 4 at 19:04
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    I actually doubt it's meant solely for the plane/airport. A lot of people travel hand-lugagge only, for several reasons. If I wanted to take my coffee grinder on my camping trip to a foreign country, I'd rather just take it in my hand luggage and not get check-in luggage just for that piece, right? – Summer Oct 5 at 8:39
  • I can't imagine anyone turning their little corner of the departure gate area or even their airline seat into a mini kitchen. What a strange thing to do! – Lightness Races in Orbit Oct 5 at 10:35

Cutting up fresh fruit might be desirable if you're travelling with a small child (you should even cut grapes in half) and small knives are also permitted.

But I don't think that's what they're getting at. If you're travelling without hold luggage, "on the go" means for your entire trip, not just while on the flight/in transit. And you may well want to have the ability to make a simple meal in a hotel room rather than eat out.

Why wouldn't the blades of such things be not allowed on a plane, and would someone really bring, say, a blender or a cheese slicer and prepare food on a plane?

After 9/11, most sharp objects (in particular, but not limited to, knives) are prohibited to bring into the cabin of an airplane. Blades up to 6 centimeter are an exception to this rule (since last year), hence the wording.

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