Police Warn Parents to Inspect Kids' Halloween Candy, Even Though Poisoned Candy Is a Myth

Trick or treating isn't as scary as the cops think.


Monkey Business Images / Dreamstime

"To avoid tragedy" the Gloucester Township, New Jersey, police are warning parents not to let their kids eat unwrapped candy—even though there's never been an actual, confirmed report of a stranger poisoning a kid on Halloween.

This guidance from the police is diagnosable OCHD: Obsessive-Compulsive Halloween Disorder. Want some real Halloween fun? Count how many times parents are warned about a non-existent danger in this one "tip" sheet, courtesy of the Gloucester Township Patch:

Police are advising the following steps to avoid tragedy this Halloween night: [Start counting now!]

• Instruct children not to open their candy until they return home.

• Inspect all candy for tampering before allowing them to start eating.

• Accept only wrapped and packaged candy.

• Do not eat candy that has been unwrapped or opened.

• Never eat fruit or other unwrapped items.

• Throw away any candy or food that is not wrapped tightly by the candy company. Please call the Gloucester Township Police Department if you believe it was tampered with.

• If you should find an object in the candy or find anything unusual about it, call the Gloucester Township Police Department at 856-228-4500.

• Do not give homemade or unwrapped treats to children.

• Avoid giving choking hazards such as gum, peanuts, hard candies, or small toys as treats to young children.

• Children shouldn't snack while they're trick-or-treating. Parents should check treats at home. Give children an early meal before they head out to discourage snacking.

• Watch for signs of tampering, such as small pinholes in wrappers and torn or loose packages.

• Inspect all candy for safety before children eat it.

• Accept and give out candy that isn't easily unwrapped. Candies such as Tootsie Rolls, hard candies and certain bubble gums with twist-type wrappings can be tampered with more easily than those that are sealed.

Let me know your tally, and do not let your children eat unwrapped candy! (Sorry—I've been brainwashed.)

By the way, Gloucester Townshipians, you might want to remind the cops that, um, no child has ever been poisoned by a stranger's candy on Halloween. So kids can "avoid tragedy" and eat unwrapped candy till they vomit. From too much candy. Not from poison.

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  1. Police Warn Parents to Inspect Kids' Halloween Candy, Even Though Poisoned Candy Is a Myth

    I perpetuate this myth with my children so I get first crack at the haul.

    1. And I hide the confiscated Reese's cups in the freezer behind some frozen peas.

    2. I use Halloween to teach my kids about taxes. They do all of the legwork, I take 90%, and then tell them that it's for their own good.

      1. *thunderous opera applause*

  2. Poisoned candy is not a myth. I know this kid who ate candy he got on Halloween and then he got hooked and then 3 months later he weighed 300 pounds and almost died.

    1. Did he get all bloated from combining pop rocks and soda? Or did he drink from the chocolate river and fall into it, only to be sucked into a vacuum pipe and routed to the Fudge Room?

      1. "Fudge Room"?

        Sounds homo. NTTAWWT.

  3. Anyone have any idea how long this pants shitting has been around? When I was a little kid, I'm talking almost 50 years ago, this was going around. Razor blades and needles in apples and candy was the fav. But then there were also rat poison and strychnine. No one actually knew anyone who had fallen victim to these things, but it was on the news. Still, back then there were lots of kids out trick and treating every Halloween, I mean pretty much everyone did it until the real professional pants shitting parents came around and started to forbid their kids to go. By that time, dope in candy was all the rage. Just face it, once a hysteria starts up, it's like a bad law passed by Congress, it never goes away, ever. Scary clowns will be around for your kids to fear.

    1. The hysteria over people handing out THC candy during Halloween was particularly funny. Like any respectable pothead is going to waste a $20 sucker on your obnoxious child.

      1. When I got into my teens, me and my friends went out trick or treating all day to try to get some of these drugs in our basket. After a couple years, we finally gave up. There was one old guy who gave us a 6 pack of Blue Ribbon beer.

      2. *Knock knock*

        'Who's there'

        'Trick or Treat!'

        'Dave? Dave's not here!'

      3. The difference back then was that it was the 7 year olds telling each other this bullshit to make walking around collecting candy more scarier.... All the little dumbasses who beleived the bs must have grown up and becme lawmakers.... We shoulda bullied them harder.... back when that was a.legal and normal part of growing up.

    2. Probably since trick-or-treating became a thing. It combines parents' fear for their children, children telling scary stories to each other, and parents telling cautionary tales to children. It'd be weird not to have it as a thing.

      Just...you know...keep government out of it, FFS. They ruin everything, including scary stories.

    3. I had a Halloween party on Saturday night, and one of the parents was going on about the scary clown thing. I noted that, to my knowledge, there are no reported incidents of people dressed as clowns actually committing any crimes in the last few months. His reply was basically, "Nuh-uh! There was a report of someone in a clown outfit, somewhere, I can't remember where, doing something, I can't remember what, exactly."

    4. There was this one girl I heard got some Bubble Yum and then she went home and then she ate some and then she fell asleep and then when she woke up there were spiders crawling out of her mouth and then they found out Bubble Yum is made out of spider eggs and there's even some doctor in a newspaper I read that said so.

    5. Yeh, razor blades and needles in the apples was the classic du jour. And seriously, you ought to possess no humanity to give apples (and Tootsie Rolls and stale caramel squares) out on Halloween.

      1. Even roxbury russets?

        1. You think people have such great taste? I just had one this morning.

        2. Ha this weekend while at the grocery store I suggested to the wife we give out potatos to the kiddies for halloween... the old guy standing beside me laughed the wife was more interested in buying a large enough amount of chocolate to ensure she had some for after since our chillins are now in the dress up and get drunk phase of halloween (university)

      2. I liked the Kraft Caramel squares. I miss 'em.

    6. My peak Trick or Treat years would have been around 1958-1964 and there was not mention of razor blades or needles. Our beef was with people who gave out candied apples that would stick to everything else in the bag.

      ... Hobbit

      1. Mine were 1970-1980. We heard about razor blades in apples and pins in candy every year.

  4. The specter of Uncle Crusty's Glazed Baby Carrots is a very real threat to children of any age.

  5. Wow, this is fucking golden!

    It's time for a special prosecutor

    Now it's time for a special prosecutor to look into Hillary's email scandal! Fucking amazing. All of this time, there was no case, nothing to investigate! Holy shit these people are insufferable.

    1. CNN is on board now because they think a special prosecutor will be more favorable to Clinton than Comey at this point. If they had integrity, they would called for a SP after Tarmacgate.

    2. Surely CNN is calling for a special prosecutor to look into Comey's handling of the Clinton e-mail server thing, right?

      1. Oh, they want not only a special prosecutor, something that was totally unnecessary before and just something hateful Rethuglicans wanted, but also a new head of the FBI. Because obviously, Comey, Trump, and the KGB are in cahoots on this. You cannot make this shit up. They've jumped the fucking shark.

        1. I like how, on the one hand, Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State makes her the "most qualified" individual to become President, while at the same time, one of her key initiatives, the "reset button" with Russia, has been completely memory holed.

          Clinton is an elder stateswoman whose many accomplishments include... totally not being responsible for Ambassador Stevens' death?

    3. Maybe Larry Walsh is still around.

    4. FTA: The FBI Director's off-the rails letter about "reopening" the investigation clearly violated Justice Department policies prohibiting criminal-investigation announcements in the 60 days prior to an election.

      Anyone know if the 60 day claim is accurate? And, if it were a policy, what kind of legal standing would it have?

  6. If they had integrity, they wouldn't be Democrats.

  7. Random thought: last week I think there was a mention of how students in Finland outperform students in other countries despite less homework and shorter school years. One factor that did not get mentioned is that it is much easier to become literate in Finnish than in English or French because the spelling is very consistent and easy to learn.
    It takes English speakers more than twice as long to become literate than speakers of Spanish, which also has very consistent spelling.

    1. English literacy acquisition is harder and slower, and thereby more expensive
      It is easy to understand that learning to read and write with a spelling system that uses 185 graphemes must take longer than doing so with a mere 50. It is therefore not surprising that a cross-European team led by Professor Philip Seymour from Dundee university which investigated literacy acquisition rates in 13 languages concluded in 2003 (British Journal of Psychology): "Children from a majority of European countries become accurate and fluent in foundation level reading before the end of the first school year. ....The rate of development in English is more than twice as slow." Establishing exactly how much more time English-speaking children need for learning to read is difficult, because of individual learning differences, and the effect of different teachers. But we are unlikely to be far off the mark by guessing that a spelling system which uses three times more graphemes than others, is going to make the learning of basic letter-to-sound rules correspondingly slower. A longe time needed for learning to read and write means less time for other subjects.


      1. How many of those "185 graphemes" are actually necessary for basic proficiency in English? And if this theory holds water, then wouldn't Chinese literacy be among the most difficult to attain? Their written language isn't even remotely phonetic.

        1. In addendum to myself:

          Here's a listing of English graphemes and their phonetic values that lends some credence to the large number of graphemes counted above.

          And saying written Chinese "isn't even remotely phonetic" is not correct; there are a lot of "phono-semantic compounds" among Chinese characters.

        2. The Chinese govt defines literacy as knowledge of 1500 characters for a rural resident and 2000 characters for a urban resident.

          An English speaker needs to recognize about 3,000 words to be literate (95% comprehension). However, the problem is large numbers of common words have irregular spellings and every single spelling rule has multiple exceptions.

          Strangely, it's probably easier to become literate in Chinese than English because while it is not phonetic, it is more consistent in the sense that the same symbol almost always means the same thing. A box with a line through it always means "middle" or rhymes with the word for middle. The upside down V symbol always means "person" and so on. So while each symbol has to be memorized, there is no complicated system of rules and exceptions to memorize like in English, not mention crazy things like silent letters and irregular verbs. Bottom line, being literate in English requires more knowledge than Chinese.

          Look at how many patterns must be learned to recognize common words like rain, make, day, and weight. Same sound, multiple spellings. And almost every single vowel in English has this problem!

          Alphabets aid literacy to the extent they are phonetic. The less consistently phonetic they are, the less they aid literacy.

          1. Another problem with a the Latin alphabet is there are several letters like b, d, p, and q that resemble each other enough to be confusing. The Arabic alphabet has a similar problem where missing dots or changing their place changes the letter.

        3. People with more complicated languages become better educated later on. They are used to dealing with difficult subject matter. There's no coincidence that the US, Japan, Germany, England and China dominate the world economically.

      2. Finnish has fifteen noun cases: four grammatical cases, six locative cases, two essive cases (three in some Eastern dialects) and three marginal cases.

        What the fuck is an essive case? And why do the Finns need two of them?

        1. The essive case means "As an X...". Finnish uses cases where English uses stand alone prepositions. It's similar to the instrumental case in Russian. In Russian, if you want to say "I went by X" you say "I went by Xe" where e is the case marker. The case marker emphasizes that X is the object of the preposition.

          1. Thank you. But I still don't see how a language with fifteen noun cases is easier to learn just because the spelling is more phonetically consistent. Latin had phonetically consistent spelling and is mostly dead.

            1. It may not easier to learn to speak, but it is much easier to learn to spell, and that it is what counts for literacy- being able to match sounds with symbols.

              1. Literacy statistics is stupid.

        2. No one needs more than three locative cases.

    2. If the words look anything like the words used to name Ikea furniture pieces, then I call BS.

      1. Ikea is Swedish, not Finnish.


    3. Spanish also has something 2 million verb tenses,, so there's that.

  8. Dammit - Colonial pipeline over in Alabama blew up and killed 6 people so our gas supply is cut off again.

    1. Accident or eco-terrorism?

  9. Hillary's Emailgate is an assault on all women

    I am mad. I am mad because I am scared. And if you are a woman, you should be, too. Emailgate is a bitch hunt, but the target is not Hillary Clinton. It's us.

    The only reason the whole email flap has legs is because the candidate is female. Can you imagine this happening to a man? Clinton is guilty of SWF (Speaking While Female), and emailgate is just a reminder to us all that she has no business doing what she's doing and must be punished, for the sake of all decent women everywhere. There is so much of that going around.

    The people are demanding Clinton act like moral exemplars, thundering from the pulpit like Jonathan Edwards or Cotton Mather. But Donald Trump, Rudy Giuliani, Chris Christie, Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh and their many conservative friends are not remotely Clinton's moral superiors. They are simply bullies, using gender discrimination to give a veneer of plausibility to their accusations.

    FBI Chief James Comey has shown himself to be another bully of the same kind. He has repeatedly talked down to Clinton, admonishing her as a bad parent would a 5-year-old. He has accused her of "poor judgment" and called her use of a private email server "extremely careless." If Comey's a Boy Scout, here's one old lady who will never let him help her across the street.


    1. It's a bitch hunt, huh? No wonder Robin Lakoff is worried-she might just get the death penalty.

    2. Can you imagine this happening to a man?

      1. Nope! Never!

        (Fuck the squirrels)

  10. Totally fed our one year old right out of the bag without a second glance at the packaging to keep him interested tonight. Someone call DFS on me.

    1. The Diane Furstenberg Society?

    2. I'm doing it too. I believe it's called a bribe.

  11. "Give children an early meal before they head out to discourage snacking."

    Oh yeah...that'll work. Who could possibly eat candy on a full stomach?

    1. That makes about as much sense as the PSA I heard a few years back around thanksgiving to "use a dull knife [sic!] when carving turkey so if you slip you won't be hurt as much". WTF??? (Any Boy Scout knows that a sharper knife give you more control with far less chance of slipping to begin with.) (Or at least they did 40 yrs ago before the wusses took over.... do Scouts still carry jack knives as part of being prepared?)

  12. Donald awoke in a dank room lit by a naked light bulb. A TV in the corner flickered to life. A ghastly puppet spoke to him.

    "Hello, Donald. You don't know me, but I know you. I want to play a game. Here's what happens if you lose. On the other side of that door is a mob of Oberlin women's studies students armed with rolling pins and frying pans. If you fail your task, they will charge in and beat you to death. To avoid that fate, you must build a wall to keep them out. The wall will spring out of the ground once you gather all the cats in your cell. You must grab all the pussies before time runs out and put them in the basket. Look around Donald and know I'm not lying. You'd better hurry up. Live or die. The choice is yours."

  13. Part of the fun of Halloween; when I was a kid, was the fear of death. Don't take this wonderful fantasy away from this generation.

  14. Damn, forgot my usual Halloween PSA - caramel-covered onions look the same as caramel-covered apples. Just sayin'.

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