Family Food Safety Tips for a Safe Halloween

Family Food Safety Tips for a Safe Halloween.

Celebrated on the 31st of October, Halloween is following American traditions and becoming a bigger and bigger event in the UK calendar each year. With origins in the occult, Halloween is recognised by people all over the country as a mainstream occasion for organising get-togethers and hosting parties at home and at work.

Trick o’ Treat

At Halloween, thousands of children, and adult chaperones, will put on their fancy-dress outfits and take to the streets dressed as witches, cats, skeletons, ghosts, pumpkins and more. They will continue the tradition of knocking on the doors of their neighbours, asking “Trick o’ Treat” hoping to be given goodies, or giving a forfeit to those who refuse.

Doorstep Food

Many homeowners who take part in Halloween Trick o’ Treating have a supply of shop-bought treats ready for when they open their door. Although there are affordable buckets of wrapped sweets which can be bought from the supermarket, there are many people who home-bake goodies to offer Trick o’ Treaters.

Sadly, some people use this as an opportunity to cause harm to others and it is important to be vigilant and exercise caution when accepting food treats from the doorstep.

Always check packaged sweets for signs of tampering, torn wrappers, pinholes, unusual appearance, discolouration as this could indicate toxins, drugs or poisons have been maliciously inserted. If in any doubt, throw it away.

Party Food

Food safety plays an important part of hosting a great party. No one wants to feel ill after having a good time and as the host you can take steps to make sure everyone enjoys your get-together.

  • Food safety starts with a clean workspace and always clean your hands to reduce contamination when handling different foods.
  • Make sure food is stored at the right temperature, especially sandwiches, cheese platters, dishes with meat, poultry and seafood, which need to be chilled until served.
  • If you’re serving homemade fruit juice or cider, make sure it’s pasteurised as unpasteurised liquids can contain harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella.
  • Apples used for apple bobbing should always be rinsed thoroughly to remove surface dirt and bacteria. Or, consider alternatives such as magnetic apple hooking with prizes instead.

Other Hazards

To make sure Halloween is an occasion everyone can celebrate safely these are some general food safety tips to be aware of for yourself and guests.

  • Allergies, check if the food contains items such as nuts, seeds, shellfish, and clearly label dishes for guests who may be sensitive, intolerant or allergic to certain foods.
  • Choking, check who’s eating small items such as peanuts, hard candy or raisins and learn what to do in an emergency. Acting quickly could save their life.

If serving food to children, they may not be aware of their allergies or forget to mention them, so always ask a parent or guardian for advice.

Should an injury, food poisoning, choking or other incident occur, it is important to have someone with first aid skills present. In an ideal world, everyone would have a basic knowledge of first aid and the confidence and skills to deal with an emergency.

Essential 6 specialises in providing food safety training courses and first aid training for individuals and companies. The training courses are tailored to your needs and specific requirements. For more information or to book a course please call 0845 272 3558.

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