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Worcester man stopped by TSA for carrying baggage full of SPAM, video goes viral

WORCESTER – A Worcester man and his love of SPAM went viral when he tried Bring a suitcase of it through the TSAThe video was viewed millions of times on TikTok and prompted the company to call him.

Joel Libed is a singer in an Irish step-dancing group. They performed in Austin, Minnesota. The city is the headquarters of Hormel. The company has a SPAM museum there. During his lunch break, he went to see it.

“The SPAM Museum is very beautiful. I went in and thought, 'Is this like Disneyland?'” Libed laughed.

“The most accessible in Hawaii”

It comes from Hawaii, where SPAM is a common part of the cuisine.

“It's kind of part of everyone's daily diet,” Libed explained. “It's the most accessible thing in Hawaii. Everyone has it. I can go to a 711 and get it. I can go to McDonald's and get it.”

Joel Libed was stopped by the TSA because he had a carry-on bag full of SPAM.

CBS Boston


Someone at the fair learned of his love of the meat and gave him a box of it from the museum. He wanted to take it as carry-on luggage, but the TSA quickly stamped it, even though he was allowed to fly with it.

“My backpack comes through, my shoes come through, my box of SPAM goes to the other belt, and I immediately thought, 'Oh my God,'” Libed recalls, starting to laugh. “They're going to open this carry-on bag and it's just going to be SPAM. How do I explain this without looking suspicious?”

Libed recorded the moment and uploaded it to TikTok. Within a short time, it was viewed by millions of people.

“I said, 'Just so you know, it's a case of SPAM.' I said it already laughing because I was a little embarrassed,” Libed said, expecting to be shamed for SPAM. “I said, 'Oh, the hickory smoked is really good or the bacon. I told him what my stash was.'”

Joel Libed brought cans of SPAM from the SPAM Museum in Minnesota to Worcester.

CBS Boston


The TSA agent laughed along and started acting out the funny moment. Eventually, the TSA reached out to Libed because they wanted to share the video on their Instagram account.

Hormel sends Libed a spam message

As the views mounted, Hormel got wind of it and called him. The company sent him a box of SPAM and offered to help organize a SPAM night at the restaurant where he works in Hudson. He even has a limited-edition Hawaiian SPAM flavor.

“For one thing, I'm never going to open this,” Libed said. “It's going to hang like a SPAM monument on the wall of my new house.”