Happy Halloween everyone! Tonight is the night when many will roam the streets and knock on doors yelling “Trick or Treat!”. There are several things to keep in mind to keep our trick or treaters safe on Halloween night from walking in a group, with a buddy or trusted adult to what type of costume to wear that will provide some warmth on this cold Midwest evening….brrrrrr – that is almost as frightful as Halloween can be! However, what I am going to offer today are some food safety reminders as they relate to Halloween, mainly on the topic of “food inspection”.
Tonight everyone should have a “Food Safety Inspector” in the house.
- Candy should not be eaten until it can be inspected back at home.
- Eating a meal or a snack before trick or treating should help eliminate the temptation to snack on the goodies received before they can be inspected.
- Candy should be inspected for pinholes or tears in the wrappers and any kind of discoloration or odd appearance. Here the old adage of “When in doubt – throw it out” definitely applies.
- Ensure all treats are commercially made versus a homemade treat. *Homemade treats from trusted sources are certainly okay, but be sure you know who the creation came from!
- Anyone with allergy concerns should always wait until items can be inspected and labels are reviewed prior to eating.
- Don’t be shy – tell those providing the treats about the allergy and ask for something free of the allergen of concern.
- For little ones, especially, parents should be mindful of those items that can be choking hazards: nuts, chewing gum, hard candy, etc. and remove them from their treat bag
- And lastly, just a little related Halloween holiday humor…..What’s worse than finding a worm in your apple? Finding half a worm in your apple! On a serious note, with more and more people making an effort to give out healthy snacks, whole fruit is something to be cautious of as they can be easily tampered with. Like the homemade creations, just be sure it is from a person you know and trust. And then ensure it is washed before it is eaten.
After you have completed the duties good food inspector, enjoy a piece or two – you deserve it!
Eat Safe and Be Healthy!
Coborn’s, Inc, Food Safety & Nutrition Manager, Registered Dietitian
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