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FDA offers Halloween food safety tips for trick-or-treating, home parties

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration offers the following Halloween food safety tips for trick-or-treating and home parties:

Trick-or-Treating

  • Snacking: Children shouldn’t snack on treats from their goody bags while they’re out trick-or-treating. Give them a light meal or snack before they head out – don’t send them out on an empty stomach. Urge them to wait until they get home and let you inspect their candy before they eat any of it.
  • Safe treats: Tell children not to accept – and especially not to eat – anything that isn’t commercially wrapped. Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.
  • Food Allergies: If your child has a food allergy, check the label to ensure the allergen isn’t present. Do not allow the child to eat any home-baked goods he or she may have received.
  • Choking hazards: If you have very young children, be sure to remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys.

Home Parties:

  • Unpasteurized juice or cider can contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella. To stay safe, always serve pasteurized products at your parties.
  • No matter how tempting, don’t taste raw cookie dough or cake batter that contains uncooked eggs or unbaked flour.
  • Chill perishable foods until serving time. These include finger sandwiches, cheese platters, fruit or tossed salads, cold pasta dishes with meat, poultry, or seafood, and cream pies or cakes with whipped cream and cream cheese frostings.
  • Bacteria will creep up on you if you let foods sit out too long. Don’t leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator for more than two hours (1 hour in temperatures above 90°F).

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