Halloween food safety

Trick or treat?

All kids should be careful before eating trick-or-treat goodies at Halloween -- especially those with allergies and sensitivities. Here are some key safety tips:

Before

  • Tell your children not to accept -- and especially not to eat -- anything that isn't commercially wrapped.
  • Have dinner with your kids before they go out so they aren't tempted to munch -- too much! -- while trick-or-treating.

After

  • Don't let kids eat any candy or other treats until you or another adult has checked it.
  • Throw away anything homemade.
  • Check all commercially wrapped treats for small holes in the wrappers. Throw out anything that's torn, unwrapped or in loose packaging.
  • Be cautious before giving treats that could be potential choking hazards (e.g., chewy candies, gum, hard candies, lollipops, peanuts).
  • When in doubt, throw it out!

Children with allergies and sensitivities

Some Halloween treats may contain allergens. Common ones are peanuts, tree nuts, milk and eggs. Some treats, such as chocolate products, may contain allergens that are not declared on the label. The most common undeclared allergens found in chocolate products include peanuts, tree nuts and milk protein. Here's a good approach:

  • Read all labels carefully.
  • Only give your child treats that list the ingredients.
  • Don't give you child products with warning labels such as "may contain" statements.
  • Don't give your child products of which you are unsure.
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