With Halloween just around the corner, children are thrilled to dress up and go out trick or treating for candy. But as a parent or guardian, it is wise to take precaution over what your child consumes from their bag of goodies.
Whether your little monster is going from door-to-door to gather candy or participating in activities like apple bobbing, it is important to make sure the treats are safe for children to consume. Below are five recommended tips from FoodandSafety.gov on how to make sure your kid’s Halloween candy is safe to eat.
1. Check labels
If your child has a food allergy or sensitivity, it is important to read the labels on the candy to make sure the allergen is not present in the treat. In the case of homemade goods that your child may receive, it is best to not let the child consume it at all.
2. No snacking while trick-or-treating
It is tempting to want to snack on some of the candy while collecting it but do not allow children to do it. Make sure you do not send kids out hungry, feed them a snack or light meal prior to trick-or-treating and let them know that they are not allowed to eat any of their candy until you thoroughly inspect it.
3. Look at trick-or-treating candy carefully
When expecting candy, look for discoloration, tears in wrappers, an unusual appearance or tiny pinholes. If the candy looks tampered with in anyway, throw it away.
4. Make bobbing for apples a clean activity
If you are hosting a Halloween party and plan or letting guest bob for apples be sure that you wash them and any raw fruit thoroughly by rinsing it under cold water. This method is important to reduce the amount of the bacteria that may be on the fruit, consider using a fruit brush to remove surface dirt further.
5. Protect party food from contamination
If you plan on keeping your children indoors and entertaining, make sure that the food you serve is safe to eat. Serve pasteurized products because unpasteurized ones can contain Salmonella. Also keep food like cheese platters, tossed salads, sandwiches and fruit chilled. Perishable foods should not be left out for more than two hours. If you are in a hot climate above 90 degrees, food should be refrigerated within the hour.