Ending a great trip my daughter and I worked our way through the Tampa airport TSA. My daughter’s carry-on bag was placed in line with other bags for extra TSA screening. As we sat in line watching the other bags as they were being examined, my daughter realized the TSA agent was inspecting food items wearing the same pair of gloves for each inspection.
First, the agent opened up paper wrapped sandwiches and moved the bread around to reveal cheese, then she moved on to the next person in-line, where she pulled out a jar of peanuts and another jar of food. The next person in line had tucked away a huge round Honeycrisp apple in a plastic bag. The TSA agent pulled out the apple and examined the produce.
By the time the agent was ready to open my daughter’s bag, the agent had directly touched wheat, dairy, jars of nuts and an apple. In the name of safety, this is necessary and I fully support examining food that might be problematic.
My daughter asked the TSA agent to change her gloves before inspecting her luggage due to her food allergies. The agent didn’t even blink an eye and said, “of course” as she reached for a new set of gloves before discovering my daughter was carrying gummy candies for her friends and newly discovered seashells that were still damp from our quick stop at the beach on the way to the airport.
Never did allergen cross-contact ever cross my mind while maneuvering through TSA. But, I now understand and witnessed food being directly touched and have a new gratitude for gloves! Although, allergies or not, I would not be happy with the same gloves touching someone else’s bread and my food, who knew if they already had taken a bite out of their sandwich, like I already had done. That’s just a big yuck from me and my germaphobe self.
Bravo to TSA for doing their good work in keeping us safe and for not questioning the glove change when requested. We then zipped off to our gate, where we pre-boarded for a quick wipe down to enjoy a good trip home.