Food Allergen Content of Popular Halloween Candy

Divided wooden tray with halloween candies
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Halloween is supposed to be a fun holiday for kids. Dressing up in cute, funny, scary costumes, decorating the house with creepy spiders, carved pumpkins, or bones that appear to erupt from the ground, and of course, a showering of candy and sweets unlike any other day in the year. Halloween is a child’s delight for many kids, but it comes with its own set of risks for those children with food allergies.

While Halloween is still an exciting part of the year for food allergic kids, it comes with its issues and limitations. For one, the risk of exposure to food allergens is high, from accidental ingestion to cross-contamination. For parents of food allergic kids, Halloween can be a complete and stress-filled nightmare. You have to be a detective, looking for sources of milk, egg, soy, wheat, and other allergens. Fearing an unexpected allergic reaction, policing candy by sorting into safe and unsafe piles, and monitoring candy consumption are necessary chores for parents of kids with food allergies.

One way to make managing candy easier is to know which candy contains what ingredients. To this end, I have compiled a listing of the most popular Halloween candy, according to USA Today (2013), along with their food allergen content. You’ll find both an ingredient list and an allergen summary indicating the common 9 food allergens.

Of course, you may have a food allergy to additional ingredients beyond the common nine, which is why I listed the full ingredient list.

When using this chart please note the following:

  • Ingredients were obtained from the manufacturer’s website during the month of October 2014.
  • As you know, ingredients are subject to change. And ingredients in full-size portions may not be the same in miniature form.
  • Read the ingredient label: Manufacturers are required to list the major food allergens on the package as per the FALCPA regulations.
  • Miniature forms of candy do not contain a listing of ingredients on the individual package. These ingredients can be found on the larger package.
  • Pay attention to the warnings about co-production with other foods or candies, which may cause cross-contamination.

Popular Halloween Candy Ingredients and Food Allergens

   CANDY

   INGREDIENTS

 COMMON  FOOD  ALLERGENS

 Reese’s  Peanut  Butter  Cups

 

Milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, nonfat milk, milk  fat, lactose, soy lecithin, PGPR); peanuts, sugar, dextrose, salt, TBHQ (preservative)

Milk, soy, peanuts

 M & M’s  candies

 

Milk chocolate (sugar, chocolate, skim milk, cocoa butter,   lactose, milkfat, soy lecithin, salt, artificial flavor), sugar, cornstarch, less than 1%--corn syrup, dextrin, coloring (includes blue 1 lake, yellow 6, red 40, yellow 5, blue 1, red 40 lake, blue 2 lake, yellow 6 lake, blue 2), gum acacia.

Milk, soy; may contain peanuts

 Peanut      M  &  M’s  candies

 

Milk chocolate (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, skim milk, lactose, milkfat, peanuts, soy lecithin, salt, artificial flavors), sugar, peanuts, cornstarch, less than 1%--corn syrup, gum acacia, coloring (includes blue 1 lake, red 40, yellow 6, yellow 5, blue 1, red 40 lake, blue 2 lake, yellow 6 lake, yellow 5 lake, blue 2), dextrin.

Milk, soy, peanuts; may contain almonds

 Snickers  bar

 

Milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, skim milk, lactose, milkfat, soy lecithin, artificial flavor), peanuts, corn syrup, sugar, palm oil, skim milk, lactose, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, salt, egg whites, artificial flavor.

Milk, soy, peanuts, egg; made in a facility that also   processes tree nuts

 Hershey’s

 bar

Milk chocolate (sugar, milk, chocolate, cocoa butter, lactose, milkfat, soy lecithin, PGPR, emulsifier, vanillin, artificial flavor)

Milk, soy lecithin

 Kit Kat bar

 

Sugar, wheat flour, nonfat milk, cocoa butter, chocolate, palm kernel oil, lactose, milkfat, contains 2% or less of soy lecithin, PGPR, emulsifier, yeast, vanillin, artificial flavor, salt, sodium bicarbonate

Wheat, milk, soy; made in a facility that also processes peanuts

 Almond  Joy candy  bar

 

Corn syrup, milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, milk, lactose, milkfat, nonfat milk, soy lecithin, PGPR, emulsifier), coconut, sugar, almonds (roasted in cocoa butter and/or sunflower oil); contains 2% or less of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (soybean and palm oil), whey, cocoa, salt, natural and artificial flavor, chocolate, soy lecithin, hydrolyzed milk protein, sodium metabisulfite

Milk, soy, coconut, almonds; made in a facility that also processes peanuts

 Milky Way  bar

 

Milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, skim milk, chocolate, lactose, milkfat, soy lecithin, artificial flavor), corn syrup, sugar, hydrogenated palm kernel oil and/or palm oil, skim milk, less than 2% milkfat, cocoa powder processed with alkali, malted barley, lactose, salt, egg whites, chocolate, artificial flavor

Milk, egg, barley (wheat)

 Hershey’s  cookies  and cream

 

Sugar, vegetable oil (cocoa butter, palm, shea, sunflower, palm kernel and/or safflower oil), nonfat milk, corn syrup solids, enriched wheat flour (flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, and folic acid), lactose, partially hydrogenated vegetable oil (soybean and/or cottonseed oil), contains 2% or less of cocoa processed with alkali, whey, chocolate, high fructose corn syrup, soy lecithin, sodium bicarbonate, salt, natural and artificial flavors, tocopherols, PGPR, caramel color

Milk, wheat, soy; made in a facility that also processes almonds and peanuts

 3 Musketeers  bar

 

Milk chocolate (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, skim milk, lactose, milkfat, soy lecithin), sugar, corn syrup, hydrogenated palm kernel oil and/or palm oil, less than 2% cocoa powder processed with alkali, salt, egg whites, artificial and natural flavors

 

Milk, soy, egg

 Twix bar

 

Milk chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, chocolate, skim milk, lactose, milkfat, soy lecithin, PGPR, artificial flavors), sugar, enriched wheat flour (wheat flour, niacin, reduced iron, thiamine mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid), palm oil, corn syrup, skim milk, dextrose, less than 2% food starch-modified, salt, cocoa powder, baking soda, soy lecithin, artificial flavor

Milk, soy, wheat; may contain almonds

 Skittles

 

Sugar, corn syrup, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, less than 2% of citric acid, tapioca dextrin, modified corn starch, natural and artificial flavors, colors (red 40 lake, titanium dioxide, blue 2lake, red 40, blue 1, blue 1 lake, yellow 5 lake, yellow 5, yellow 6, yellow 6 lake) sodium citrate, carnauba wax

none

 Twizzlers (strawberry)

 

Corn syrup, enriched wheat flour (flour, niacin, ferrous sulfate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, and folic acid), sugar, cornstarch, contains 2% or less of palm oil, salt, artificial flavor, mono and diglycerides, citric acid, potassium sorbate (preservative), artificial color (red 40), mineral oil, soy lecithin, glycerin

Wheat, soy

 Life Savers  hard  candies

Sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, citric acid, natural and artificial flavors, colors (red 40, yellow 5, blue 1)

none

 Tootsie  Rolls

 

Sugar, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated soybean oil, condensed skim milk, cocoa, whey, soy lecithin, and natural and artificial flavors

Milk, soy

 Nerds

 

Dextrose, sugar, malic acid, contains less than 2% of corn syrup, artificial flavors, carnauba wax, colors (carmine color, blue 1, blue 1 lake, blue 2 lake, red 40 lake, yellow 5, yellow 5 lake, yellow 6, yellow 6 lake)

none

 Butterfinger  candy bar

 

Corn syrup, sugar, ground roasted peanuts, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, cocoa, molasses, and less than 1% of whey, confectioner’s corn flakes, nonfat milk, salt, lactic acid esters, soy lecithin, soybean oil, cornstarch, artificial flavors, TBHQ and citric acid, yellow 5, red 40

Peanut, milk, soy

 Baby Ruth  candy bar

 

Sugar, roasted peanuts, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated palm kernel and coconut oil, nonfat milk, cocoa, high fructose corn syrup and less than 1% of glycerin, whey, dextrose, salt, egg, monoglyceride, soy lecithin, soybean oil, natural and artificial flavors, carrageenan, TBHQ, citric acid and caramel color

Peanut, milk, egg, soy

 Jolly  Ranchers  hard candy

 

Corn syrup, sugar, contains 2% or less of malic acid, natural and artificial flavor, artificial color (red 40, blue 1, yellow 5, yellow 6), mineral oil, soy lecithin

soy

 Starburst  chews

 

Corn syrup, sugar, apple juice from concentrate, gelatin, food starch-modified, citric acid, less than 1.5%--pectin, natural and artificial flavors, coloring (red 40, yellow 5)

None; contains food starch-modified

 Dum Dum  Lollipops

 

Sugar, corn syrup, malic acid, artificial flavor, artificial color

none

 Crunch Bar

 

Milk chocolate (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, non-fat milk, lactose, milkfat, soy lecithin, vanillin), crisped rice (rice flour, sugar, barley malt, salt).

Milk, soy; made in a facility that also processes peanuts, nuts, and wheat; contains barley malt (gluten)

 Krackel  candy bar

 

Milk chocolate (sugar, chocolate, cocoa butter, nonfat milk, milk fat, soy lecithin, PGPR, vanillin, artificial flavor), crisped rice (rice flour, sugar, malt extract, salt, monoglycerides, tocopherols)

Milk, soy; processed in a facility that processes peanuts

 Whoppers

 

Sugar, corn syrup, partially hydrogenated palm kernel oil, whey, cocoa, contains 2% or less of malted milk (barley malt, wheat flour, milk, salt, sodium bicarbonate), resinous glaze, sorbitan tristearate, soy lecithin, salt, natural and artificial flavors, calcium carbonate, tapioca dextrin

Milk, wheat, soy

 Sour Patch    Kids

 

Sugar, invert sugar, corn syrup, modified corn starch, citric acid, tartaric acid, artificial flavors and red 40, blue 1 and yellow 5

none

 Smarties

 

Dextrose, citric acid, calcium stearate, natural and artificial flavors, colors (red 40 lake, yellow 5 lake, yellow 6 lake, blue 2 lake)

None if made in the USA

 Candy corn  (Brach’s)

 

Sugar, corn syrup, confectioner’s glaze, salt, dextrose, gelatin, sesame oil, artificial flavor, honey, yellow 6, yellow 5, red 3.

Processed in a facility where milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soy are used in the production of other products.

If you’re interested in safe Halloween candy, check out these options from Allergic Living.

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