Halloween Treats May Be Tainted
Department of Environmental Health (DEH) officials advise parents to carefully scrutinise all treats and candy received by their children during the approaching Halloween festivities.
The warning follows a recent Canadian Food Inspection Agency recall of Sherwood Brands Pirate's Gold Milk Chocolate Coins. The candy, imported from China, tested positive for melamine contamination. It is sold in 840g containers containing 240 pieces per container and bearing UPC 0 36077 11240 7 and lot code 1928S1.
DEH officers are currently investigating to determine if the affected candy has been imported into the Cayman Islands. If found, it will be immediately pulled from supermarket shelves. However, persons who may have purchased candy overseas should check their packages and discard any candy that matches the above description.
Department of Environmental Health Food Safety Officer Gideon Simms also advises, "If there is doubt as to the source of any candy received, especially if it's candy that was not manufactured by a reputable company or brand, it should be discarded."
Parents are encouraged to either accompany or arrange adult supervision for their children while they are engaged in "trick or treat" activities.
To prevent illness or injury, the DEH advises parents to follow some essential food safety tips:
- Children should wait until they get home to eat food items, after parents or other adults have had a chance to inspect treats brought home.
- A snack or light meal before children set out "trick or treating" helps restrain their impulse to eat treats before returning home.
- When children bring their treats home, parents should discard any home-made items such as candy or baked goods. Parents of young children should also remove any choking hazard such as gum, peanuts, hard candies or small toys.
- Parents should inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or torn wrappers. Discard anything that looks suspicious.
- Adults who are hosting Halloween parties for children should be careful not to leave juice or cider outside of the refrigerator for lengthy periods before they are consumed. Unpasteurised juices and cider (labels will indicate this) are especially vulnerable. Steer away from these.
- All fresh fruit should be washed thoroughly, inspected for holes and other blemishes, however small, and cut open before allowing children to eat it. Remember, when in doubt, throw it out.
- Parents of children with food allergies should examine food labels to determine if allergic ingredients and additives are present. Some Halloween treats may trigger allergic reactions in susceptible individuals.
For further information on food safety, please contact DEH at 949-6696.