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Health briefs: Beware of Halloween candy going bad

Maybe it's not so bad that children gorge themselves on Halloween candy. Parents who plan to hide most of the loot and dole it out later may be surprised that candy can go bad - especially chocolate. Sweets have a shelf life, according to Karen Blakeslee, a Kansas State University expert, varying from two weeks to a year, depending on type, packaging and storage. People have had salmonella poisoning from eating expired chocolate. Beware of a sticky or grainy texture or change of color. The softer the candy, the shorter its shelf life.

Teen drinking, drug use

Heavy alcohol and marijuana use puts teens at risk for mental deficits persisting into adulthood, a new study says. Researchers found that teens who'd abused alcohol and pot scored lower than abstinent peers on tests measuring intellectual abilities. "The worry is that kids who start drinking early, and drinking heavily, may be affected for their entire life," said the author, Robert Thoma, a clinical neuropsychologist at University of New Mexico School of Medicine.

- HealthDay