Keep treats safe this holiday
Be conscious of food allergies, choking hazards and food safety while baking with your family and friends this holiday season.
As children and adults look forward to holidays and specials times together, it’s a good idea to consider food allergies, choking hazards and food safety while baking treats.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that it is a good idea to help family and friends understand allergy concerns that guests may suffer. Allergies are a serious matter and should be handled as such. Instruct children not to eat food until they have a parent or adult inspect the item for listed allergens on labels. Adults may not be aware of the eight food allergens, so help others to become knowledgeable. The most common food allergens are tree nuts like almonds or walnuts, peanuts, wheat, milk, eggs fish, soy and shellfish.
Michigan State University Extension offers the following suggestions for preventing choking from occurring. Always be attentive to children when treats and toys are in view. Small pieces of food, small toys, hard candies and nuts, should be monitored and removed. As a rule of thumb, toys and objects that can fit through a toilet paper tube (i.e. smaller than four centimeters) are not safe to give to babies and toddlers.
Baking for special occasions and holidays
Remind children about food safe practices when handling food. Wash hands before touching food, after using the bathroom and after handling pets. When baking, remember these important tips from Foodsafety.gov:
- Never eat any raw eggs in cookie or cake batters because they may contain Salmonella or other harmful bacteria. Instead, cook eggs in the food item thoroughly and avoid foods that contain raw or undercooked eggs.
- Raw flour may contain E. coli and cause people to get sick. Raw dough and raw flour have been found to contain this bacteria and cooking will kill the bacteria.
Taking these precautions will ensure that all guests are safe and that everyone can enjoy a fun, safe holiday.