What if the scariest thing on Halloween were actually allergens? Whether you’re answering the door or ringing the bell, you’re bound to encounter Halloween candy containing at least one of the eight most common food allergens.
According to Dr. Purvi Parikh, an allergist with the Allergy & Asthma Network, “The safest celebrations for those who suffer from food allergies are food-free celebrations.” She encouraged parents to consider offering non-edible treats in addition to candy.
That said, there are now dozens of popular allergen-free treats for kids and adults who can’t have dairy, egg, soy, wheat, peanut, tree nut, fish or shellfish.
Zollipops is the only sugar-free candy on the list — and the only one that is actually good for your teeth.
“It’s best to look for candies that are completely free of all the common eight allergens … and often you can find that information in labeling,” Parikh told TODAY. “Halloween is a high-anxiety time for food allergy sufferers, so every bit helps.”
Parikh also recommended asking children with food allergies not to eat any candy before parents are able to check them or replace problematic candies with alternatives that are known to be safe for their kids and, as always, be prepared with injectable epinephrine devices “at all times.”
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, here are some of the safer sweets to stock up on this Halloween. And since products are occasionally repackaged in third party facilities, do yourself a favor and check the packaging before purchasing.