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Easter Egg Safety Tips to Help Keep Your Family Safe During Spring Holidays

Posted in Food Safety,Our Blog on March 30, 2024

Keep your family safe with these egg safety tips in mind.

Spring is a time for celebration. Everything is in bloom, baby animals are born, and there are many special occasions to celebrate. Easter, Passover, graduations, and more!

Many of these holidays revolve around eggs, and egg dishes. It is spring after all. What better symbol of emerging life than the humble egg.

Stay safe during spring celebrations this year with a few egg safety tips to keep your family safe during spring holidays.

Keep The Basics When It Comes to Egg Safety

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends four key steps when it comes to food safety and preventing foodborne illness. Regardless of the time of year!

Now is as good of a time as any to refresh ourselves on these basics.

Keep it Clean

Keeping it clean means both your hands and anything that touches food. Regularly clean hands and food contact surfaces, even if they appear clean. Wash your hands before you begin cooking and anytime your hands have become contaminated. Start with a fresh food preparation surface by cleaning the counters before and after you use them.

Keep it Separate

Avoid cross-contamination by keeping raw foods away from ready-to-eat foods. Meats and other high-risk items should be stored in leakproof containers in the refrigerator so that cooked food, fruits, and vegetables do not come in contact with them or their juices.

Even better, start this separation while at the grocery store. Load up the cart with groceries, keeping potentially contaminated food away from foods that do not undergo heat treatment.

Bonus points if you bring separate insulated bags for meats and other products (like dairy or veggies).

Cook it Well

Always use a food thermometer when cooking to ensure foods reach the appropriate internal temperature.

Ground meats like beef, veal, lamb, and pork should be cooked to at least 160 °F.

All poultry should be cooked to at least 165 °F.

Beef, pork, veal, and lamb roasts and chops should be cooked to at least 145 °F with a 3-minute rest time.

Never eat raw eggs. Cook them until the yolks and whites are firm. Fried eggs need 2 to 3 minutes on each side or 4 minutes in a covered pan. Boiled eggs should be cooked for 7 minutes.

Leftovers should be reheated to at least 165 °F and sauces, soups, and gravies should be brought to a boil.

Food should not be left out at room temperature for more than 2 hours. This time drops to 1 hour on a hot day (over 90 °F).

Just Chill

If saving food for later, be sure to store it promptly and properly. Observe the 2 hour (or 1 hour) rule above and refrigerate as soon as possible. This helps slow the growth of potential germs that might be lurking in the food. They love room temperature and will start a party of their own if you aren’t careful.

Egg Hunting? Do So With Egg Safety in Mind!

Hunting for colorfully dyed eggs is a fun tradition that the whole family can get involved in. And as such, the whole family should also get involved in egg safety too!

When planning an egg-citing egg hunt, keep these egg safety tips in mind:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water before handling eggs at each step in the process. This includes cooking, cooling, dyeing, and hiding them. Supervise children if they are joining in on the fun.
  • Keep hard-cooked eggs cold for as long as possible. Keep them refrigerated until just before the hunt and discard any eggs left out for more than 2 hours (or 1 hour if temperatures are above 90 °F).
  • Hide eggs in cleaner areas. Be sure they are protected from dirt, pets, and other potential sources of bacteria.
  • Discard cracked or dirty eggs. Bacteria can make their way inside those cracks and contaminate it. While one rotten egg won’t necessarily spoil the whole bunch, it sure will zap the fun out of the party.
  • After the eggs have been collected and bragging rights given, rise the uncracked eggs and return them back to the refrigerator until it is time to eat them.

Eating Outside Safely

If your Spring gathering involves eating outside, plan your party with food safety in mind.

When available, wash your hands with soap and water. If this isn’t possible, bring alcohol-based wipes or gel to keep your hands cleaned and sanitized for food preparation.

Wash fruits and veggies under running water. Even in cases where you are not eating the peel. Cantaloupe, melons, and avocados may have harmful germs hanging out on the surface. If unwashed, those germs can hitch a ride on the knife and enter the fleshy part of the fruit that you do eat.

When eating away from home, try to bring close to what you will eat so that you do not have to worry about leftovers. Especially if leftovers will not be stored safely.

Bring a cooler with ice or cold packs. Cold foods need to stay cold, otherwise germs may crash the afterparty. Foods like cold fried chicken, eggs and foods that contain eggs, and cold pasta dishes with meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy products need to be kept cold.

Keeping Egg Safety Tips in Your Spring Holiday Plans Can Save the Day!

You want your Spring gathering to be memorable. In a happy way. Not because they remember the time they got sick on deviled eggs from Aunt Jackie. Or because Cousin Suzie had to miss a week of school.

Egg-centric holidays can be merry and fun. Keep food and egg safety in mind this Spring.

Stay in Touch with Make Food Safe!

If you’d like to know more about food safety topics in the news, like Easter Egg Safety Tips to Help Keep Your Family Safe During Spring Holidays, check out the Make Food Safe Blog. We regularly update trending topics, foodborne infections in the news, recalls, and more! Stay tuned for quality information to help keep your family safe, while The Lange Law Firm, PLLC strives to Make Food Safe!

By: Heather Van Tassell (contributing writer, non-lawyer)