Food at New York airport hurts TSA agents but deemed non-hazardous

By Gina Cherelus

By Gina Cherelus

(Reuters) - Three Transportation Security Administration agents suffered minor eye injuries on Wednesday at New York's LaGuardia Airport after they were exposed to an irritating food product while inspecting a carry-on bag, officials and local media said.

Something in the bag triggered an alarm at a checkpoint inside Terminal B, according to media reports. A spokesman from the New York Office of Emergency Management said the food was later deemed to be non-hazardous.

The spokesman did not provide further details, such as the identity of the passenger carrying the bag or what product was involved in the incident.

Three agents were transported to a local hospital with minor eye irritation, according to a New York Fire Department spokesman. A hazardous materials team was sent to the terminal after an emergency call at 5:30 a.m. EDT (0930 GMT), he said.

The incident caused the terminal's Concourse D to be temporarily closed.

In an effort to avoid similar situations, the TSA has turned to social media to answer travellers' questions about which foods can be taken on airplanes, often giving light-hearted responses.Among the queries the agency has received have been ones about cooked bacon, fried chicken, butter, pies and bratwurst.

"I tried to be punny with this post, but my puns were the wurst," read one TSA reply on Instagram under a photo of bratwursts in a slow cooker. "The crock pot (without the liquid) and brats are good to go in both carry-on and checked bags."

(Reporting by Brendan O'Brien and Ian Simpson; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn and Nick Zieminski)