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ODA offers Halloween food safety advice

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Unsafe Halloween candy is no treat for kids and their parents this time of year. The Oregon Department of Agriculture is offering some common-sense tips to help make trick-or-treating a trouble-free event:

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It’s a treat when Halloween candy and other food items are safe. The trick is making sure that happens. Will Fargo, food safety specialist with the Oregon Department of Agriculture, says one of the first things to remember is to encourage kids not to eat the handouts they get until they come back home. Then it’s up to the parents to help out:

FARGO:  “Take a look at this candy and see that it is intact and packaged, that it hasn’t been tampered with– there’s no discoloration or pinholes or problems with the products. Any time you’re suspicious, when in doubt, throw that candy out.”  :13

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With more emphasis this year on healthy and nutritious foods for kids, it’s likely that some trick-or-treaters will be getting something fresh instead of candy:

FARGO:  “Fruits commonly handed out trick-or-treating, we encourage parents to inspect the fruit, make sure it appears wholesome, wash the fruit, and then actually serve it to your children instead of readily letting them consume fruit acquired trick-or-treating.”  :13

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A recent nationwide peanut butter recall due to salmonella has involved some candy makers, but the products in question are most likely not the types of candy that are handed out during Halloween. In general, parents and consumers should be assured that candy purchased this fall is as safe as it has been in the past. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.

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FARGO says giving kids a light dinner or snack before they trick-or-treat would be a good idea this Halloween:

“First and foremost, we recommend– when you send your kids out– to encourage them not to eat while they are trick-or-treating, not to eat candy and, instead, bring it home and let their parents look at it.”  :09

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