Keep treats safe this holiday

Safety tips to keep in mind this Halloween.

As children and adults look forward to holidays and specials times together it’s a good idea to consider these important details related to food: food allergies, choking hazards, tamper resistant packages and baking treats for special occasions.

Allergies The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that it is a good idea to help family and friends understand the allergy concerns that your children may suffer. Allergies are a serious matter and should be handled as such. Instruct children not to eat treats until they have a parent, or adult inspect the item for listed allergens on labels. Adults may not be aware of the eight food allergens, so help others to become knowledgeable. The food allergens are nuts, (tree nuts like almonds, walnuts) peanuts, wheat, milk, eggs fish, soy and shellfish. If you are hosting the party focus on games and activities to alleviate any stress.

Choking hazards Michigan State University Extension offers suggestions. Always be attentive to children when treats and toys are in view. Small pieces of food, small toys, hard candies and nuts, should be monitored and removed. As a rule of thumb, toys and objects that can fit through a toilet paper tube (i.e. smaller than four centimeters) are not safe to give to babies and toddlers.

Monitor snacks and treats Remind children not to eat snacks or treats until returning home. Though tampering is rare, a responsible adult should closely examine all treats and throw away any spoiled, unwrapped or suspicious items.

Baking for special occasions and holidays Remind children about food safe practices when handling food. Wash hands before touching food, after using the bathroom and after handling pets. When baking remember these important tips from Foodsafety.gov:

  • Never eat any raw eggs in cookie or cake batters because they may contain Salmonella or other harmful bacteria. Instead, cook eggs in the food item thoroughly and avoid foods that contain raw or undercooked eggs.
  • Raw flour may contain e.coli and cause people to get sick. Raw dough and raw flour have been found to contain this bacteria and cooking will kill the bacteria.

Taking these precautions will ensure that children are safe and that everyone can enjoy a fun safe holiday.

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