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Medical scanners X-ray Halloween candy to check for metal objects

Posted at 6:01 PM, Nov 02, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-03 09:22:19-05

We all hear the warnings to check Halloween candy, just in case.

But this Halloween, trick-or-treaters in several states bit off more than they could chew.

A group of children in Pennsylvania discovered sewing needles. In Ohio, a child found a disposable razor inside a piece of candy. In New Jersey, a mother's Facebook post about a pin in her kid's candy has gone viral.

With those headlines, parents want to feel assured they won't miss a thing. That's why hospitals and urgent care centers across the country offer X-ray as an option.

The NOW's Anne McNamara visited the AFC/Doctors Express Cherry Creek in Denver to see how it works. First, the technician scanned candy that was not contaminated.

"There are little tiny dots -- I'm not sure if that's the air bubbles when they were making them -- but, I don't see anything else in there," said Halima Ahmed, the X-ray tech.

Then, The NOW hid a tack, staples and a paper clip inside candy wrappers for a second scan. Right away, Ahmed pointed out all of the metal, acknowledging it was not visible to the naked eye.

"Because the metal pieces were in the wrapping or could be inside the candy, there's no way of knowing," said Ahmed. "But, in the image, you could see which ones had the metal inside them and which ones didn't."

And while it may seem crazy that we've gotten to this point -- having to scan candy with a machine instead of our eyes -- better that than coming home with a real Halloween horror story.

"I don't think it would hurt to have that option to check and see if there was anything dangerous in there," she said.

Most hospitals and urgent care centers are willing to help scan candy if parents call ahead. Check with your health care provider.

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