Halloween is here! This fun holiday is a childhood favorite. But there are some food safety rules parents need to follow to keep everyone healthy. FoodSafety.gov has some tips to keep Halloween treats safe, not scary. And the FDA has “Lucky 13: Tips for a Safe Halloween” to read.
If your kids go out to get candy, don’t let kids eat while they are trick-or-treating. You should inspect the treats before they try them. Try to get them to eat something healthy before they venture out. Go to neighborhood homes where you know the people. Second, kids should not accept any treats that are not commercially wrapped. That means no homemade popcorn balls or other treats.
When you get home, inspect the treats. Look for signs of tampering on products, such as pinholes, tears in the wrapper, or discoloration. Throw away anything suspicious. Throw away anything that is a choking hazard if you have very young children. That includes peanuts, small hard candies, and gum. If your kids have food allergies, read through Halloween tips at Kidswithfoodallergies.org.
If you’re hosting a party at home, be sure to follow the two hour rule: no perishable foods should be left out of refrigeration longer than 2 hours. Avoid serving unpasteurized juices or cider. Make sure you wash your hands before and during food preparation, keep raw meats separate from foods to be eaten uncooked, and clean utensils and serving platters.
If you want to bob for apples, be sure to wash them first. If any of the party guests are ill, don’t let them bob for apples; that’s a great medium for spreading bacteria.
Have a safe and happy Halloween!