While Halloween is filled with fun and festivities through costume parties and trick-or-treating, it is important to make sure that treats are safe for children. Here are a few simple tips to follow to ensure this:
- Avoid snacking. Children should not be snacking on candy and treats they collect while they are out trick-or-treating. Encourage them to wait until they get home so that you can inspect their treats before they eat any of it. To hold off the urge to snack while trick-or-treating, give them a light meal or a snack before they head out for the Halloween festivities.
- Check ingredients. If your child has a food allergy or dietary restriction, be sure to check the label for presence of allergens. It is also important to restrict children from eating any home-baked goods that they received as you do not know what ingredients were used.
- Safe eating. Tell your children not to accept or consume any treats that are not commercially wrapped. After trick-or-treating, inspect all wrapped treats for signs of tampering, which can include discoloration, pinholes, and tears. If these are noted, throw away these treats immediately.
- Choking hazards: If you have young children that are at a risk of choking, be sure to remove any treats that pose a choking hazard from their collection. This can include gum, peanuts, hard candies, and small toys.
- Show caution while bobbing for apples. While bobbing for apples is a popular Halloween pastime, it is an easy way for bacteria to spread and foodborne illness to arise.
- Be sure to thoroughly rinse apples and other raw fruits and vegetables under cool water to reduce the number of bacteria present on them. You may also want to use a produce brush to remove any surface dirt that may be present.
- Tips for parties at home:
- Many unpasteurized juices and ciders could contain harmful bacteria like Salmonella. To avoid exposure, serve pasteurized products at your party.
- Avoid tasting raw cookie dough and cake batter that contain uncooked eggs.
- Keep all perishable foods in a chilled location until you are ready to serve them. This could help keep bacteria at bay. Foods that should be chilled include sandwiches, cheese platters, fruit salad, cold pasta dishes, and various desserts.
- Bacteria can quickly grow and accumulate. Do not leave perishable items out of refrigerator for more than two hours.
We at DoveMed wish all our readers a safe and happy Halloween.