Happy Halloween from the ASI family!

Halloween season can bring friends and family fun and many scares, but don’t let one of those scares be food illness. Whether you’re hosting a Halloween party or just going trick-or-treating, educating yourself on the proper food safety practices will help prevent foodborne illness.

ASI has made it easy by putting everything you need to stay safe this Halloween in one place.

Halloween Party Food Safety:

Clean – Separate – Cook – Chill

By following four simple food safety steps, you can protect the little monsters from getting a food illness:

  • Clean: Make sure to pack clean paper towels, water, and soap for cleaning surfaces and your hands. Disposable moist towelettes also work well.
  • Separate: Use clean plates. Likewise, don’t put foods eaten raw on the same platter that held raw meat or poultry. Any harmful bacteria present in the raw meat juices could contaminate them.
  • Cook: Always use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of burgers, steaks, chicken, and egg dishes.
  • Chill: Place leftovers in shallow containers and store them in a cooler immediately.

Bacteria Danger Zone & Two Hour Rule

Bacteria will creep up on you if you let foods sit out too long. Don’t leave perishable goodies, such as meat, poultry, eggs and casseroles in the temperature “Danger Zone” (between 40°F and 140°F) over 2 hours; 1 hour in temperatures above 90°F.
Keep food cold in the refrigerator, in coolers, or on the serving line on ice. Keep hot food in the oven, in heated chafing dishes, or in preheated steam tables, warming trays and/or slow cookers.

Safe Halloween Candy and Treats

Eating candy and sweet treats is also a big part of the fun on Halloween. If you’re trick-or-treating, health and safety experts say you should remember these tips:

  • Inspect before eating. Don’t eat candy until it has been inspected at home.
  • Homemade treats. Avoid homemade goodies from people you don’t know. The CDC recommends avoiding eating homemade treats made by strangers since there is no way to ensure the person preparing them followed proper food safety procedures.
  • Eat before heading out. Trick-or-treaters should eat a snack before heading out, so they won’t be tempted to nibble on treats that haven’t been inspected.
  • Food allergies. If your child has a food allergy, check the label to ensure the allergen isn’t present. Tell children not to accept—or eat—anything that isn’t commercially wrapped.
  • Choking hazards. Parents of very young children should remove any choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys.
  • Check for tampering. Inspect commercially wrapped treats for signs of tampering, such as an unusual appearance or discoloration, tiny pinholes, or tears in wrappers. Throw away anything that looks suspicious.

Parties and Large Groups

When food for parties and large groups is prepared in different locations by different people, how can you make sure that everyone prepares and stores food safely? Consult these guidelines:

HALLOWEEN COVID SAFETY:

Make Trick-or-Treating Safer

  • Avoid direct contact with trick-or-treaters.
  • Give out treats outdoors, if possible.
  • Set up a station with individually bagged treats for kids to take.
  • Wash hands before handling treats.
  • Wear a mask.

Wear a Mask

  • Make your cloth mask part of your costume.
  • A costume mask is not a substitute for a cloth mask.
  • Do NOT wear a costume mask over a cloth mask. It can make breathing more difficult.
  • Masks should NOT be worn by children under the age of 2 or anyone who has trouble breathing

Stay At Least 6 Feet Away From Others Who Do Not Live With You

  • Indoors and outdoors, you are more likely to get or spread COVID-19 when you are in close contact with others for a long time.

Wash Your Hands

  • Bring hand sanitizer with you and use it after touching objects or other people.
  • Use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Parents: supervise young children using hand sanitizer.
  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds when you get home and before you eat any treats.

Build a Candy Slide

In the time of COVID-19, everyone is worried how much Halloween will be affected. A lot of towns and even some states are recommending people don’t go trick or treating, or at best, stay socially distanced from other people when they do. To help out, we designed a simple DIY Halloween prop that’ll help let you enjoy the night from a safe 6 feet away!

The “candy slide” is a simple DIY Halloween prop that only uses some basic PVC pipes and can be made by anyone! One person stands at one end of the prop and slides candy down to trick-or-treaters waiting at the bottom end. It’s a simple Halloween prop and a blank canvas that can be decorated however you like!

We hope this DIY prop gets you a little closer to enjoying Halloween this year and helps create an extra buffer between you and the kids who might knock on your door on Halloween. 

COVID Safe Activity: Bobbing For Apples

Try a new spin on bobbing for apples. Cut out lots of apples from red construction paper.  Write activities for kids to do on each apple, such as “say ABCs” or “do 5 jumping jacks”.  Place a paper clip on each apple and put them in a large basket. Tie a magnet to a string or create a fishing pole with a dowel rod, magnet and yarn.  Let the children take turn “bobbing” with their magnet and doing the activity written on their apple.  Give children a fresh apple for participating in your food safe version of bobbing for apples.