Sweets and Food Safety
a love affair with chocolate – the sweet, creamy, melt-in-your-mouth
confection and other sweet desserts. Why not discuss the sweet
day ranks fourth in total sales of the succulent sweets in this
country. Qandi, from qand in Arabic, means a lump of sugar.
Americans called it sugar candy in the 1800’s and now it it’s
just candy. Although some may be reluctant to concede the fact,
candy is a food item according to the definition in most food-safety
ordinances. Its basic elements are included in the "Food Pyramid"
in the small triangle at the top labeled "Fats, Oils and Sweets."
chocolate is not usually associated with foodborne illness,
the white, chalky coating found on some candies can cause consumers
to worry needlessly. Chocolate contains cocoa butter and sugar,
therefore heat and humidity may cause it to develop a harmless
"bloom." It may look strange but the chocolate is safe to eat.
Carelessness in quality control and sanitation might result
in contamination with microorganisms that could cause illness.
Responsible manufacturers keep constant vigilance at important
points in production to avoid major problems. The Federal Food
and Drug Administration (FDA) backs up the manufacturer’s responsibilities
with plant inspections and routine samples. FDA also looks closely
at all imported food, including candy to ensure that no improper
agents are added to the candy.
chocolate is used in dishes that contain cream and eggs, such
as truffles, cheesecakes and pies, there are some concerns.
You must cook these foods to at least 160°F to kill harmful
bacteria. Check the internal temperature with a food thermometer
to be certain. Do not eat any foods that contain raw eggs. Wash
hands properly and frequently during food preparation. Refrigerate
foods properly – within two to four hours – of cooking or serving.
facts about the nutritional value of chocolates:
- A 1.5 ounce
of chocolate bar contains about the same amount of total phenolic
compounds as a 5-ounce serving of red wine, which has been
associated with a reduced risk for coronary heart disease.
- Caffeine in
a 1.5 ounce of chocolate bar or an 8-ounce glass of chocolate
milk is about equivalent of that cup of decaffeinated coffee.
- Current studies
are being evaluated to find the amount and types of antioxidants
in chocolate products.
- There is no
such thing as a "white chocolate" in the US. White chocolates
contain only the fat - cocoa butter and not the color forming
nonfat components. It is actually white confectionery.
antioxidant benefits, neurotransmitter responses (causing you
those chocolate cravings) or your mother’s favorite myth, the
real reason we eat chocolates and other sweets may not be so
complex. We eat chocolate because it tastes good.
this or any food-safety-related information, contact
the Bureau of Consumer Health Services at 713/794-9200 or click
here to return to the food safety tips index page.
the HDHHS Bureau of Consumer Health Services