Austrian airport’s security screeners mistake bacon for a bomb

We often like to mock the sleuthing abilities of the Transportation Security Administration, or lack thereof, since its security screeners can get confused over a misshapen tube of toothpaste or a computer with no drives.

But as far as I know, the TSA has never become addled over bacon.

I cannot say as much about the crack security screeners at the airport in Linz, Austria.

Recently, a man on summer vacation hurrying through screening there was stopped when a security worker noticed something suspicious in his carryon.

The man fessed up. “Da ist Speck drinnen.” There is bacon inside.

This is recounted in a pretty funny article on the Austrian news site Nachrichten.

Seems that security authorities were not satisfied with the man’s direct, not to say a little flip, explanation. They made him go into a bomb proof room and prove it was really bacon. An interesting little detail in the article says that police waited outside the room for fear that something might detonate.

Now, Austrians and Germans alike eat their fair share of bacon and other pig products. They couldn’t somehow recognize this without virtually calling in the bomb squad?

One screener tells Nachrichten, “During security screening, we look at the density of atoms, and bacon has the same molecular density as Dynamite.”

I’ve eaten a few meals in Germany that would corroborate that statement.

Luckily, the man was let go, with his bacon.

This article goes on to praise other successes the Linz security folks have had foiling threats recently. They stopped another man for having an electronic shoe buffer in his carryon, similar to the one you find at hotels or clubhouses at posh golf courses. The man knew nothing about it — his wife had packed his suitcase — and he wasn’t likely to ask her, since the two had just had a major fight.

And a bag was recently found unattended at the Linz airport. X-raying it, screeners saw an unidentifiable object inside. Its owner could not be located, so authorities blew the bag up, only to find the charred remains of a doll inside.