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UK Airport Security Mistook Pea Mush for Plastic Explosives

A passenger flying from Newcastle Airport to Gatwick was recently stopped by airport security staff, who believed that his six tubs of pease pudding—a hummus-like concoction typically made of mashed split yellow peas—were plastic explosives.
Photo via Flickr user onegoodtum

Lighters, chef's knives, 64-ounce bottles of personal lubricant: By now, you know not to pack these things in your carry-on luggage before heading to the airport. The global security theater that we know and rarely love is effective in reminding us that all of these things are potential weapons aboard an aircraft.

Now, you can add pea mush to that list.

A passenger flying from Newcastle Airport to Gatwick in the UK was recently stopped by airport security staff, who believed that his six tubs of pease pudding—a hummus-like concoction typically made of mashed split yellow peas that's beloved in the northeast of England—were plastic explosives.

The 58-year-old passenger tried to explain that his pudding was not, in fact, the Semtex explosive that airport staff assumed it to be. "I love my pease pudding," he told The Mirror, adding that he was also carrying a variety of Gregg's pies. "I think the resemblance to Semtex was pushing it a bit far as it was in containers marked 'pease pudding.'"

The flier even offered to let the security staff have a taste of his pease, the improbably dense texture of which reportedly set off alarms in the x-ray machine. In the end, he was allowed to keep his bricks of pudding and his pies, and go on his merry way.

This is hardly the first security gaffe of its kind. Last month, 34 Chinese passengers were detained at Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow for supposedly being in possession of some giant bricks of meth, which turned out to be tofu.