SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- In light of two separate instances of tampering, the Scotch Plains police department is advising parents to check all of the candy that their kids received on Halloween.
"There are two reported cases of food tampering reported in NJ where needles were found inside candy," said Scotch Plains Police Chief Ted Conley, who suggests checking the wrappers to see if there are any signs that the packaging has been altered. (If yes, throw the candy away.)
"Also, break the candy in half to visually inspect it prior to eating if possible. If you find any cases of possible food tampering, report it to your local police department," Conley adds. "Parents should know that there have been no such incidents reported in Scotch Plains or Union County."
Detectives and troopers from the New Jersey State Police are investigating the report of a needle found in Halloween candy collected in Port Norris (Cumberland County). The victim told detectives that between 7:00 and 8:00 p.m. on Monday, she discovered a sewing needle in a Tootsie Roll candy that her child collected while trick-or-treating. Barnegat police advised parents to check Halloween candy after a resident reported finding a pin in a Kit Kat bar.
Reports of tainted Halloween candy have spooked parents since the 1980s, but it appears that razors and items hidden in Halloween candy is largely urban legend. However, according to University of Delaware sociologist Joel Best, who studied three decades worth of data, there are no confirmed cases of children being killed by purposely tainted treats from a stranger.