Easter egg safety tips to keep it fun
Cheryl Walker
Milam County Extension Ageng

Easter is just around the corner, so now is the time to think about safety and decorated eggs. What would Easter be without decorated eggs? Many family traditions involve coloring or dyeing the eggs, then hiding and ultimately hunting those eggs.

Did you know if you hide those colored eggs you are not supposed to eat them, especially if they have not been refrigerated?

Following a few simple tips can help make a happy and safe Easter.

• Inspect your eggs before purchasing them to make sure they are not cracked or dirty.

• Be sure to keep your eggs refrigerated until its time to cook them.

• Wash hands thoroughly before handling the eggs and at every stage in the process.

• Whatever the style of preparation, eggs should always be cooked well.

• When preparing hard boiled eggs, place a single layer of eggs in a saucepan and place enough cold water to cover the eggs by about one inch. Bring water to a boil and then cover and remove from the heat. Let eggs stand in covered pan for 12 minutes. Drain water immediately and cool in cold running water. Refrigerate eggs as soon as possible to complete the cooling process. Uncracked, refrigerated, hard cooked eggs will stay fresh for one week.

• When decorating, be sure to use food grade dyes. It is safe to use commercial egg dyes, liquid food coloring, fruit drink powders and fruits and vegetables to dye your eggs. Refrigerate the eggs as soon as possible after dyeing or coloring. Keep them refrigerated until time of consumption. Make sure you put your cooked or raw eggs inside of the refrigerator, not the door.

• When placing eggs to be hunted, make sure that you hide them in places away from dirt, animals or chemicals. Try not to let the eggs sit out for more than two hours.

• Remember the Temperature Danger Zone— 40°F to 140°F—this is where bacteria will multiply rapidly. Make sure cold food stays cold and hot food stays hot.

• Consider dying one set of eggs for hunting or decorating and one set for eating.

• Do not eat eggs that have been cooked and been out of the refrigerator for more than two hours, your chances of food poisoning increases rapidly. This means you should not eat colored eggs if you use them for a centerpiece for your Easter table, for the egg hunt or other decorating purposes. Discard them immediately after the event.

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2014-04-10 digital edition

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