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STOP Foodborne Illness Warns: "Scare" Away Foodborne Illness This Halloween
By: STOP Foodborne Illness
While Halloween is an exciting holiday for the whole family, certain precautions must be taken to ensure that everyone has a safe and fun evening. Whether you are trick-or-treating or throwing a party for your friends and neighbors, STOP Foodborne Illness wants you to be aware of the dangers that can arise from food this Halloween. Educating yourself and your children is the easiest way to reduce the risk of foodborne illness this holiday season.
Before sending the children out to trick-or-treat, remind them how important it is to be aware of the treats they are receiving. STOP Foodborne Illness has some suggestions to make sure everyone enjoys their treats without having to worry about obtaining foodborne illness:
• Stray from homemade goodies: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it best: "Eat only factory-wrapped treats. Avoid eating homemade treats made by strangers." Although everyone loves a good brownie or caramel apple, you can never be sure the food has been properly cleaned and prepared.
• Avoid fruits and vegetables: As the health trend continues for Americans, more people have begun distributing fruits, vegetables and popcorn to trick-or-treaters. This may seem like a healthy alternative, but many times fruits sold and distributed in bulk are not safely prepared and contain large amounts of bacteria. STOP Foodborne Illness does not want you to throw out these options, but encourages eating these snacks when you return home and can properly clean them.
• Fight the snacking urge: It is always tempting to start enjoying your candy the moment you receive it, however, in order to be sure all treats are properly wrapped and prepared, wait until you have finished your trick-or-treating and your parents and you can examine your goods.
STOP Foodborne Illness has a few guidelines for entertaining your guests and keeping the bacteria away:
• Store Bought Deli Trays: Deli and cheese trays bought from local grocery stores always make for a great party meal; however, keep in mind that foods of this sort should be left out at room temperature for a maximum of two hours.
• Home Made Baked Goods: While baking cookies or other delicious treats, it is always tempting to sample the raw batter. STOP Foodborne Illness highly suggests you restrain from tasting it. It is also crucial to make sure all baked goods are completely cooked so that no raw bacteria are present.
• Apple Cider: Although spiced apple cider is a fall favorite, many people do not realize that harmful bacteria are often present in raw cider. However, there is a solution. STOP recommends using pasteurized cider when making this delicious drink so that you are sure all bacteria has been destroyed. If you add other fresh fruit to your cider, be sure to wash them thoroughly
About STOP Foodborne Illness
STOP Foodborne Illness is a national, nonprofit, public health organization dedicated to preventing illness and death from foodborne pathogens by advocating for sound public policies, building public awareness and assisting those impacted by foodborne illness. For more food safety tips please visit http://www.stopfoodborneillness.org/
For questions and personal assistance, please contact STOP Foodborne Illness' Community Coordinator, Stanley Rutledge, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-269-6555 x7.