NSF advises against trick-or-treating this Halloween

ANN ARBOR—Trick-or-treating is a high-risk activity, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet, even during the pandemic, a recent survey showed 57 percent of U.S. adults still plan to hand out candy.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country, the public health experts at Ann Arbor-based NSF International, formerly the National Sanitation Foundation, are calling on families and communities to find safer ways to celebrate the season.

To support healthy practices across the country, NSF International is encouraging anyone who wants to actively opt out of trick-or-treating to display a ghost in their window—a seasonal symbol that revelers should avoid that household.

To further help households, NSF has created a series of simple ghost graphics that can be downloaded from its website for free. By placing these graphics on doors or windows, households can limit their own risk of exposure this Halloween – and possibly save lives in the process.

“Halloween is a fun time of year, but the coronavirus is truly scary,” said Paul Medeiros, managing director of consulting and technical services at NSF International. “You can still enjoy Halloween without putting yourself and others at risk. Remember, there are alternate ways to celebrate safely. To help families and communities stay safe this Halloween, we recommend avoiding trick-or-treaters and keeping doors closed. We hope that displaying these fun, downloadable ghost graphics in windows will help reduce the COVID-19 transmission risk on October 31.”

NSF International is playing an important part in reducing the spread of COVID-19 across America through its Checked by NSF program, an independent verification of COVID-19 preventive measures, providing reassurance that the highest level of procedures and protocols are implemented.

NSF International (nsf.org) is an independent, global organization that protects human health by facilitating the development of public health and safety standards, and providing certification and testing services. Separately, we also offer auditing, education, risk management and consulting services. Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. With operations in 180 countries, NSF International is a Pan American Health Organisation-World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment.


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