SANTA MONICA, Calif., Oct. 29 (UPI) -- Halloween may be a fun holiday but when it comes to food safety and food allergies, everyone needs to be serious, a U.S. food expert advises.
Phil Lempert, a food industry analyst, trend watcher and creator of the Web site supermarketguru.com, said reading labels is extremely important as some candies may have ingredients such as peanuts, tree nuts or milk that many would never assume were there.
To assist parents, The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network prepared a list of tips to help keep children safe:
-- If your child is going trick-or-treating, have something special ready to trade for the candy he or she can't eat.
-- Create a "candy swap" so allergen-containing candies can be traded for other treats such as stickers or toys, pencils, spider rings or stamps.
-- Provide neighbors with allergy-safe candies for an allergic child or ask neighbors to hand out only candy with individualized labels, so kids with allergies can determine whether the treat is safe to eat.
-- Teach children politely to refuse offers of cookies and other homemade treats.
-- Have trick-or-treaters eat dinner before going out so they are not tempted by hunger to eat a treat.
-- Make sure your child carries his or her medicines while trick-or-treating, in case a reaction occurs.
-- Accompany your children trick-or-treating or, if they are old enough to go without an adult, have them go with friends who know about their food allergies.