Can You Safely Eat Whatever Goes Through The X-Ray Machine?

Can You Safely Eat Whatever Goes Through The X-Ray Machine

We all know that X-ray machines are essential for airport security. But, can you safely eat whatever goes through the X-Ray machine?

This article aims to provide an answer to this question, so read on and find out the truth behind eating food that passes through an X-ray machine. 

So sit back, relax and let’s get into it!

Can You Safely Eat Whatever Goes Through The X-Ray Machine?


Photo by Nathan Dumlao on Unsplash 

It is safe to eat food, drink beverages, take medicine, or apply cosmetics that have been scanned with a cabinet x-ray machine for security screening. The radiation dose received by these objects is usually 1 milliard or less. This dose is harmless and causes no adverse effects.

In fact, 1 milliard is significantly lower than the average background radiation dose rate of 360 milliards per year.

Furthermore, even if the items were subjected to the minimum radiation dose used in food irradiation (30,000 rad) it would still be far below the threshold considered harmful to humans. 

Therefore, there are no known adverse effects from consuming items that have gone through an x-ray machine. 

X-rays are a type of ionizing radiation, meaning they may alter some molecules. However, they will not affect the atoms themselves and create radioactivity. While XRays can cause a mutation in the DNA molecule, it is extremely unlikely that this would cause any harm to either the item or the person consuming it. 

That being said, it is important for people to be aware of their personal levels of exposure to X-rays and other types of radiation over time and to limit their exposure when appropriate. 

Furthermore, different countries have various regulations on the use of x-rays in food processing machines. Hence, one should always check with local authorities before consuming something that has gone through an X-Ray machine. 

Does Your Food Become Radioactive When It Goes Through X-Ray At The Airport?

No, as long as the food was not previously radioactive, it would not become radioactive when it goes through an X-ray at the airport. This is because the energy required to turn something radioactive is much higher than those used in most X-Ray luggage scanners. 

Electromagnetic radiation such as X-rays can, however, cause something not previously radioactive to become radioactive, given the energy is high enough.

This process is called photofission and only occurs to any detectable degree for things that have high atomic numbers — generally heavier elements like uranium or plutonium. 

Thus, unless your food contains these materials, it will not become significantly more radioactive after going through an X-ray scanner. 

Can You Drink Bottled Water That Has Passed Through Airport X-Ray Machine?

It’s perfectly safe to drink bottled water that has passed through an airport X-ray machine. X-rays do not penetrate the bottle’s surface, so no radiation is emitted or transferred to the water inside. Even if the X-rays did penetrate the bottle, there would be no harmful effects.

It’s just like getting an X-Ray of any part of your body which is completely harmless. 

So don’t worry – go ahead and enjoy that cold bottle of water after you pass through security! It will be just as safe and refreshing as ever. 

And remember that most airports now offer free drinking fountains for refilling your bottle with fresh, filtered water too! So feel free to stay hydrated wherever you travel.

You should know that just because an item like bottled water is safe to undergo an airport security screening does not mean that it is safe to consume.

Items such as these can be contaminated with chemicals and bacteria from their surroundings during the manufacturing process, transport, and storage.

Can You Bring Food Through Airport Security?

Airport Security

Photo by Phil Mosley on Unsplash 

Yes, the good news is that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) generally allows most food items in your carry-on baggage. However, there are some rules and regulations to follow. Food items allowed for travel in your carry-on include baby food, bread, candy, etc.

Other items include cereal, cheese, chocolate, coffee grounds, cooked meats, cookies, crackers, dried fruits, fresh eggs, meat, seafood, and vegetables; frozen foods; gravy; gum; honey; hummus; nuts; pizza; salt; sandwiches; and all sorts of dry snacks.

Liquids must be in containers no larger than 3.4 ounces or 100 millilitres. All regular-sized aerosol containers are prohibited.

If you’re bringing food items through airport security, they may be subject to additional screening. When the TSA officers can’t clearly identify what an item is, they may ask that it undergo further inspection. 

In case, if you do have any items that require special handling or have potentially hazardous ingredients, contact your airline prior to travelling and inquire about restrictions and limitations. 

By following these guidelines, you can rest assured knowing your favourite snacks will make it through airport security without a hitch! 

With the TSA’s relatively relaxed regulations on food items in carry-on baggage, there’s no need to worry about leaving your favourite treats behind when you travel. 

Bon, voyage!

Can You Bring Frozen Food On A Plane?

Yes, frozen food is allowed in both your carry-on and checked luggage! However, if you’re using ice to keep your food cold, there are a few things to consider. All ice must be completely frozen at the time of security screening 

Thus, make sure any items containing ice are well packed before going through security.

Additionally, any liquids such as sauces or dressings must still follow the 3-1-1 rule regarding volume limits in order to pass through security.

What Are Some Common Myths About Food Going Through X-Ray Machine At The Airport?

Some common myths about food going through x-ray machines at airports are that the food quality gets damaged and that x-ray machines can only detect large contaminants in the food. Yet another myth is that x-ray-scanned foods can not be labelled as organic.

Below is a detailed overview of the myths we have discussed above:

Myth #1: X-Rays Can Damage the Quality of Food

The radiation used in food X-ray machines typically has a very low dose and is not considered to be dangerous. 

In addition, the energy level of the X-rays used for food inspection is much lower than that used in medical applications. As such, it is highly unlikely that these X-rays would have any lasting negative effects on the quality of food. 

In fact, many experts agree that using an X-ray machine can actually help ensure higher levels of safety and sanitation. This allows workers to detect foreign objects or contaminants in food products more.

Furthermore, due to the relatively low power output of most food x-ray machines compared to other industrial applications, it is highly unlikely that the food will suffer any significant damage from the radiation. 

In conclusion, X-rays used for food inspection pose a very minimal risk of damaging the quality of food. The regulations set in place by the U.S. and other international regulatory bodies ensure that all safety protocols are met. 

Low-energy, soft X-ray machines are used to minimize any radiation contamination concerns.

Myth #2: X-Rays Can Only Detect Large Contaminants In The Food

False! Food X-ray machines are incredibly precise. These machines are capable of detecting a wide range of issues including stainless steel, glass, sandstone, and even more delicate defects such as air bubbles or broken items. X-Rays can even detect tiny variations in a product’s density that might otherwise be undetectable by other means. 

Utilizing an X-ray machine helps ensure that not only are potential contaminants removed but also that products remain at an optimal quality level.

There are many myths surrounding using food X-ray machines at airports to check for contaminants. But the fact is that these machines are highly accurate and capable of detecting many potential issues. Using this technology, not only can airport personnel help ensure that food items remain safe to consume but also of a higher quality as well.

This is why X-ray inspection technology has become so popular in airports and other places where food safety needs to be maintained. It is an essential tool for keeping people safe while helping maintain the highest possible standards of product quality.

Myth #3: If You X-Ray Food, It Can’t Be Labelled Organic

Organic Food

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash 

This is false – X-raying food does not affect its organic status. Organic food must meet certain standards before being harvested or slaughtered, as well as when it is preserved.  X-raying does not have any effect on this criterion at all.

When considering whether to use an X-ray machine for your food packaging, it’s important to remember that up to 50% of consumers worldwide say they value the socially positive message displayed on the packaging. 

This means that half of the people care about taking every available step to ensure their food meets a high standard and is safe for consumption.

Additionally, if you decide to X-ray your food, there are strict regulations in place to ensure that any radiation emitted is safe and within legal limits. 

Overall, while X-raying food may not always be necessary, it can be a helpful tool for confirming that packaging meets certain standards and labelling requirements. 

By being mindful of both the practical benefits as well as consumer values, you can make sure your food is up to par and comply with all applicable regulations.

Why Do Airports Use X-Ray For Food Inspection?

Airports use X-ray technology to inspect food and other items for safety reasons. X-rays are used to identify dangerous materials that may be hidden inside a package or item. Thus, airport security personnel can quickly detect any hazardous substances that may pose a risk to the aeroplane or its passengers.

X-rays can penetrate most organic matter, such as wood, water, plastic and textiles which appear orange in the machine’s image. Metals and other inorganic materials appear blue when scanned by x-ray machines.

Additionally, X-rays are used for food inspections because they allow for an accurate view of what is inside the package without having to open it up. 

X-rays also provide a much clearer view of the contents of food packages than traditional methods, such as visual inspections. This helps to ensure that all food items and other goods are safe for passengers to consume or transport.

How Do X-Ray Food Inspection Machines Work?

X-ray food inspection machines employ a variety of components that work together to detect and identify metal contaminants in food. Once the X-ray enters the food, it is controlled by a beam control system that can adjust the angle and power of its beam. 

The beam control system adjusts the angle and the power of its beam depending on what kind of product is being inspected. 

The X-ray then passes through an imaging unit, also known as a detector array, which captures images of the object.

A separate computer system interprets these images and looks for patterns indicative of foreign objects or contaminants. If an anomaly is detected, an alert is sent to operators who have the ability to manually examine any suspicious items with further analysis if necessary.

X-ray food inspection machines are capable of scanning hundreds of items per second and can detect contaminants as small as a few millimetres. 

The technology used in X-ray food inspection machines is highly advanced. The speed and accuracy with which they’re able to identify metal contaminants make them invaluable tools.

What Foods Should Not Go Through The Airport X-Ray Machine?

Food items that must not be put in your carry-on bag and sent through the airport X-ray machine include any liquids or creams over 3.4 ounces, as well as alcoholic beverages over 140 proof (70 per cent alcohol by volume) such as grain alcohol and 151 proof rum.

Additionally, any item from a restaurant or store containing more than three ounces of liquid should be placed in checked baggage instead of attempting to bring it on the plane. 

Other common items not allowed on planes include homemade soup, open yoghurt containers, and peanut butter/jelly sandwiches with juice boxes.

Additionally opened gift baskets containing food products and any food items in aerosol cans are also not allowed.

Lastly, it is important to note that certain airports may have their own restrictions on which food items are allowed or not through their security checkpoint.

Hence it is always advisable to check with your departure airport for the most up-to-date information

By following the guidelines and understanding what foods should not be put in your carry-on bag, you can make sure that your trip goes as smoothly as possible. 

Good luck and safe travels!

Can You Safely Consume Medications That Go Through X-Ray Machine At The Airport?

The answer is yes: most medications will not be affected by the low doses of radiation emitted by airport security screenings. Even if they’re exposed several times in a trip, the effect on their safety and efficacy should be minimal or nil. 

However, certain “biologics” – such as insulin, epoetin alfa injection (Epogen, Procrit and others) – require special handling and storage due to their delicate nature. While travellers may worry about exposing themselves to x-rays.

The FDA’s Centre for Biologics has stated that any harmful effects would only occur at doses much higher than what is received in airport security screenings. 

Therefore, if you are taking medications with you on your travels, it is safe to assume that they will be unaffected by the x-rays at airport security screenings. 

However, it is still important to consult your physician or pharmacist before consuming any medications that have been exposed to X-ray machines. This will ensure the utmost safety and efficacy of your medication while travelling.


Before we conclude, here is a summary of a few things that you can safely eat after it has passed through the X-Ray Machine and what you can’t:

Food Item Can You Consume It After It Has Passed Through an X-Ray?
Biologics such as Insulin Yes, unless it has been exposed to high radiation through X-ray
Snacks Yes
Water Yes
Fruits Yes
Supplements Yes

All in all, consuming items that have gone through an X-Ray machine is quite safe and unlikely to cause long-term damage or harm.

Therefore, it can be assumed that the apple sent through the machine would not pose a risk to your health. 

This does not mean X-Ray machines should be taken lightly though as prolonged exposure could lead to various health issues in humans and animals alike. 

Thus, it is best to limit one’s exposure when possible and practice safety measures when using them.  

By keeping these things in mind, you can remain safe while enjoying food that has passed through an X-Ray machine.

Swati Jaiswal

Swati Jaiswal is a dedicated traveler and an even dedicated individual who specializes in travel, digital marketing, & health and fitness niches. Passport stamps and coffee stains are her badges of honor.

View all posts by Swati Jaiswal →

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *