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Screening Snacks May Be Part Of Stricter Airport Security

By Kathy Walsh

DENVER (CBS4) - Be prepared to pull out your pretzels or show your sandwich when you go through security at Denver International Airport.

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These days, snacks and other items may be part of screening at airports across the country.

There are no changes to what you're allowed to carry on, but the screening at security has become stricter.

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It used to be just laptops had to be in a separate bin and then x-rayed. But recently, the Transportation Security Administration required screening for all electronics larger than a cell phone.

There has also been a focus on other items, including food.

"I think that screening snacks seems a little pointless," said one traveler at DIA.

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But in Colorado and across the country, TSA officers may suggest passengers remove select items, such as snacks, from their carry-on bags.

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"I don't really know what they would be looking for," said a woman heading for the security checkpoint. "You're just going to be putting a lot more in bins and causing more traffic. I think it would be a lot slower."

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But according to TSA, de-cluttering carry-on bags could facilitate the screening process and help obtain clearer x-ray images.

"I don't mind putting anything in the bin so they can see what it is and verify that it's okay," said Lori Heniser.

Heniser and her husband, Larry, both of Castle Rock, are happy to display their snacks.

"Whatever it takes to keep us safe," said Larry Heniser.

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TSA makes it clear there is no policy requiring travelers to remove food, but officers at any airport can make the request. TSA says the goal is to screen passengers as quickly and efficiently as possible.

The stronger security measures do not apply to passengers enrolled in TSA PreCheck who are using TSA PreCheck lanes.

Kathy Walsh is CBS4's Weekend Anchor and Health Specialist. She has been with CBS4 since 1984. She is always open to story ideas. Follow Kathy on Twitter @WalshCBS4.

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