Drugs and razors in Halloween candy, fact or urban myth?

Oct 31, 2023, 4:03 PM

Image of a child in costume holding a plastic pumpkin dish filled with Halloween candy. Concern for...

Concern for a child's safety on Halloween is understandable, but a law enforcement officer said concern over safety on the roads is more important than a concern over tainted candy. (iStock photos) Some of America’s affluent aren’t so keen on handing out candy to kids from poorer neighborhoods this Halloween.

(iStock photos)

SALT LAKE CITY — Each year you’ll hear the warnings — check all the candy your kids get for Halloween before they eat it because it might be tainted with drugs or a razor blade.

But it’s an unneeded warning, said Sgt. Greg Moffit with Sandy Police. He said the concern, while understandable, is based on myth.

“In 21 years have I ever seen it? No, I haven’t,” he told KSL NewsRadio.

That’s not to say tainted candy hasn’t ever been in the news. In 1974, Ronald Clark O’Bryan, a father in Texas, gave his son and several other children containers of Pixy Stix filled with potassium cyanide. The candy killed his son.

That was nearly 40 years ago. 

Fast forward to today. The modern concern is that boxed Halloween candy might actually be an illicit drug like fentanyl. 

This may further put parents at ease — in an interview with ABC News, a medical toxicologist in New York said that drug dealers aren’t interested in handing out free “product.”

Another toxicologist interviewed by ABC News in Ohio agreed, saying there’s no evidence that drugs like fentanyl have been placed in Halloween candy.

What should concern some parents

Parents with kids who have allergies do have cause to be on the lookout.

“Probably not a bad idea to go through and look at things especially if your kids have some sort of food allergy or a nut allergy,” Moffit said.

He said finding candy with a peanut is far more likely than finding drug-tainted candy.

And the other big item parents should be concerned about is their child’s visibility on the road. He said the probability of being hit by a car is twice as high on Halloween.

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Drugs and razors in Halloween candy, fact or urban myth?