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Caramel-Coated Apples: Beware Halloween Food Poisoning

Ghost stories, scary films, dreaded fancy dress; there are many things to fear this Halloween, but one horror you may not be aware of comes in the form of caramel-coated apples.

Toffee Apples
For all the vicarious thrills of terrors this Halloween, researchers in the US have published a study that suggests a very real threat: food poisoning.

Caramel-coated apples are a part of Halloween as much as costumes, Ouija boards, parties and horror films. A study carried out by the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Food Research Institute has revealed that the treat, comprised of an apple on a stick dipped in caramel, poses a high risk of listeria bacteria food poisoning.

A combination of the wooden stick and the temperature in which caramel-coated apples are stored can potentially increase the amount of listeria bacteria. The study examined the effects of various temperatures on the growth of listeria-related bacteria and found, at room temperature, the bacteria increased by 1,000 times when the caramel-coated apples were stored with sticks for three days.


The study, headed by Lead researcher, Dr Kathleen Glass, took place as a result of 34 cases of people admitted to hospital in the US – seven of which tragically resulted in deaths. The symptoms of listeria food poisoning are vomiting, high temperature, diarrhoea and, in some cases, meningitis.

Based on the study’s findings, if you are making toffee apples or caramel-coated apples this Halloween, it is recommended that you store them without sticks in the fridge or at a temperature between nought and five degrees centigrade.

If you suffer listeria food poisoning following as a result of eating in a public place, such as a restaurant or pop-up food seller, you may be entitled to compensation.

Slater and Gordon Lawyers have secured compensation for many people who suffered from food poisoning in the UK and abroad caused by Salmonella, Listeria, Campylobacter, Hepatitis A virus and E. Coli.

For a free consultation call our No Win, No Fee Solicitors on freephone 0800 916 9046 or alternatively contact us online to start your claim.

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