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Minnesota TSA agent stops Massachusetts man with 10 cans of SPAM, "all the special flavors"

Man headed home to Massachusetts stopped by TSA for carry-on full of SPAM
Man headed home to Massachusetts stopped by TSA for carry-on full of SPAM 00:27

MINNEAPOLIS — A Massachusetts man is going viral on TikTok after TSA pulled him aside at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International for having a carry-on full of SPAM.

"I'm so embarrassed," Joel Libed said in the video, as a bewildered TSA agent pulled out 10 cans of SPAM.

The agent then asked if it was the regular flavors of SPAM, to which Libed answered that it was "all the special flavors," and he was particularly excited about the teriyaki flavor.

Libed explained in a later TikTok that he was born in Hawaii, where SPAM is staple of local cuisine. He was working as part of an Irish dance troupe that was on tour, and the group made their first stop in Austin, Minnesota, where the SPAM Museum is located.

He said the group of 20 Irish dancers only got to visit the museum for a short period of time, but a woman who was working their costumes was an employee at the museum. He told her how much he loved SPAM, and she came back with a case of about a dozen different flavors.

Since he was on tour, Libed said he lugged the SPAM around with him for 2.5 weeks. His luggage was overweight, and he had to take the SPAM with him as a carry-on.

In the video, the TSA agent said they had to "perform a quick test" on the SPAM before letting Libed through, which they eventually did.

Since the video went viral — it has roughly 4 million views — Libed has made a few other TikToks trying out the different flavors of SPAM. 

SPAM is made by Hormel Foods, which is located in Austin. The name is a portmanteau; the "SP" comes from the word "spice" and the "AM" comes from "ham." It emerged during a 1936 New Year's Eve party that inventor Jay Hormel threw for his canned ham creation. That creation fueled American troops during World War II.

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