Food Safety for Spooky Fall Celebrations

Spooky Cobweb

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For more information, contact the author – Amy Peterson, MS, RDN, Extension Educator for Nebraska Extension in Polk County (amy.peterson@unl.edu).

Fall signals a new season for all, with fresh crisp air, cool temperatures and lots of fun things to do with friends and family. Fall celebrations like harvesting, visiting pumpkin patches and Halloween are great family activities and fun for the kids who can wear their favorite costumes, and eat lots of tasty treats! These events are also a great time to focus on food safety and health when handing out trick or treats!

Keeping safety in mind first, check out these tips when putting together a spook-tacular celebration for a SAFE HALLOWEEN!

S – Swords, knives and other costume accessories should be short, soft and flexible.

A – Avoid trick-or-treating alone. Older youth should walk in groups and younger childred with a trusted adult.

F -  Fasten reflective tape to costumes and bags to increase visibility.

E – Examine all treats for choking hazards and tampering before eating. Help children practice moderation and space out sweet treats.

H - Hold a flashlight while trick-or-treating to help you see others and others see you. encourage youth to walk and not run from house to house

A - Always test make-up in a small area first. Remove it before bedtime to prevent possible skin and eye irritation.

L - Look both ways before crossing the street. Use crosswalks wherever possible.

L- Lower the risk of serious eye injury by not wearing decorative contact lenses.

O - Only walk on sidewalks whenever possible, or on the far edge of the road facing traffic to stay safe.

W - Wear well-fitting masks, costumes, and shoes to avoid blocked vision, trips, and falls.

E - Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers.

E - Enter homes only if you're with a trusted adult. Only visit well-lit houses. Never accept rides from strangers.

N - Never walk near lit candles or luminaries. Be sure to wear flame-resistant costumes.

If you are hosting trick or treaters, follow these tips to help make festivities fun and safe for everyone:

  • Provide healthier treats for trick-or-treaters such as low-calorie treats and drinks. For guests, offer a variety of fruits and vegetables.
  • Use party games and trick-or-treat time as an opportunity for kids to get their daily dose of 60 minutes of physical activity.
  • Be sure walking areas and stairs are well-lit and free of obstacles that could cause someone to fall.
  • Keep candle-lit jack o'lanterns and luminaries away from doorsteps, walkways, landings, and curtains. Place them on sturdy tables, keep them out of the reach of pets and small children, and never leave them unattended.
  • Remind drivers to watch out for trick-or-treaters and to drive safely.

Source: Halloween Health and Safety Tips, Center for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/family/halloween