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TSA agent at MSP stops man carrying bag of SPAM

WCCO Digital Update: Afternoon of June 6, 2024


WCCO Digital Update: Afternoon of June 6, 2024

01:31

MINNEAPOLIS — A Massachusetts man is causing a stir on TikTok after the TSA pulled him aside at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport because his carry-on luggage was full of SPAM.

“I’m so embarrassed,” Joel Libed said in the video as a confused TSA agent pulled out ten cans of SPAM.

The agent then asked if these were the regular flavors of SPAM, to which Libed replied that they were “all the specialty flavors” and that he was especially excited about the teriyaki flavor.

Libed explained in a later TikTok that he was born in Hawaii, where SPAM is a staple in the cuisine. He worked as part of an Irish dance group that was touring, and the group made its first stop in Austin, Minnesota, where the SPAM Museum is located.

He said the group of 20 Irish dancers were only able to visit the museum for a short time, but a woman who worked on their costumes was a museum employee. He told her how much he loved SPAM, and she came back with a box of about a dozen different flavors.

Because he was on tour, Libed lugged the SPAM around with him for two and a half weeks. His luggage was overweight and he had to take the SPAM as hand luggage.

In the video, the TSA agent said they had to do a “quick test” of the SPAM before letting Libed through, which they eventually did.

Since the video went viral—it has about 4 million views—Libed has created a few more TikToks in which he tries out the different SPAM variations.

SPAM is manufactured by Austin-based Hormel Foods. The name is a portmanteau—the “SP” comes from the word “spice” and the “AM” from “ham.” The name originated during a 1936 New Year’s Eve party thrown by inventor Jay Hormel for his canned ham creation, which provided energy for American troops during World War II.