What do teal pumpkins mean during Halloween?

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"Many popular sweets include the common food allergens of peanuts, tree nuts, soy, eggs, milk, or wheat, and besides that, the small sized sweets often given out during Halloween do not usually have ingredients on them and, there is too much of a risk for children with food allergies to eat that candy without knowing what's in it". Use of the symbol is tied to the Teal Pumpkin Project.

Since its inception, the Teal Pumpkin Project has rocketed in popularity, with over 18,000 households from all 50 states participating in 2016, FARE said.

If a home has a teal pumpkin outside, it means they offer non-food items. The "Teal Pumpkin Project" was started by the Food Allergy Community in East Tennessee (FACET).

"Not everybody understands food allergies", said Erica Kramer, whose son has food allergies.

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"One in 13 children in the US has at least one food allergy, and reports show that anaphylactic food reactions have climbed dramatically in recent years", said Lois A. Witkop, chief advancement officer at FARE. As a parent of a child with severe peanut allergies, I have to be constantly aware of what things he consumes or touches.

"Food allergies take an invisible toll and it's hard for these kinds-especially on a holiday where it's fun to dress up and go door to door for these special treats", says Gina Clowes, Director of Training and Outreach for Food Allergy and Research. "Candy that's safe other times of the year might not be safe during Halloween".

You can look up homes/businesses participating, or add yours to the list here. "When you see these kids hesitating at your bowl with chocolates and peanut butter cups, it's because on some level they know these treats could harm them".

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