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Frightening frosting? TSA confiscates cupcake

A TSA agent takes a woman's cupcake at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, reportedly due to concerns over the frosting.

PEABODY, Mass. -- An airport security officer confiscated a frosted cupcake amid fears its icing could be a security risk, according to reports.

Rebecca Hains said the Transportation Security Administration agent at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas took her cupcake Wednesday. According to Hains, he told her its frosting was enough like a gel to violate TSA restrictions on allowing liquids and gels onto flights to prevent them from being used as explosives.


"I just thought this was terrible logic," Hains said Friday.

Hains said the agent didn't seem concerned that the red velvet cupcake, which was packaged in an 8-ounce mason jar, could actually be explosive, just that it fit some bureaucratic definition about what was prohibited.

"Once he had identified it as a security threat it was no longer mine and I couldn't have it back," Hains told NBC station WHDH

Hains, a 35-year-old communications professor at Salem State University, said she told the agent she had passed through security at Boston's Logan International Airport earlier in the week with two cupcakes packaged in jars, gifts from a student. But she said the agent told her that just meant TSA officials in Boston didn't do its job.

"The TSA agent who saw them, picked them up and said, 'these look delicious,' and sent me on my way," Hains told WHDH.

'Civil liberties'
The TSA, which is entrusted with protecting the nation's transportation system, was reviewing the incident, agency spokesman Nico Melendez said. Passengers are allowed to take cakes and cupcakes through checkpoints, he said.

Hains, who lives in Peabody, just north of Boston, said the encounter highlighted the ludicrousness of TSA policies.

"It's not really about the cupcake; I can get another cupcake," she added. "It's about an encroachment on civil liberties. We're just building up a resistance and tolerance to all these things they're doing in the name of security, when it's really theater. It is not keeping us safe."

The Associated Press, NBC News station WHDH and msnbc.com staff contributed to this report.