Egg Safety for the Holidays

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April 06, 2015


Contact:
Dale Schmit MPA, BS, RS 920-339-4054 (Sanitarian, City of De Pere Health Department)

EGG SAFETY FOR THE HOLIDAYS

Whether preparing, serving, hunting or decorating eggs, it is important to remember that safe handling and cooking will reduce the chance of getting sick this Easter. Even the cleanest eggs, that do not have cracks in the shell, can contain Salmonella.  Unfortunately, there have been foodborne illnesses associated with eating improperly prepared eggs.  

While celebrating Easter this year, make sure to follow these simple tips to assure that you and your loved ones do not get sick:

Only buy and prepare eggs that have been refrigerated.  If an egg has Salmonella, lack of refrigeration will allow bacteria to grow quickly.
Use eggs in the shell within 3 weeks of purchase.
Use only fresh, clean, unbroken eggs prior to hard boiling or other preparation.
When preparing eggs, make sure to wash your hands and have a clean working surface.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration, thoroughly cooked eggs are safe eggs.  Eggs should be cooked until the yolk is firm.  Scrambled eggs should not be runny.
Cook all dishes that contain eggs to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Cool egg containing food in the refrigerator immediately.  Cool hard-boiled eggs with cold running water.  Remove eggs from the water and place in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Use leftover egg dishes within 7 days.
Easter egg hunt: It is much better to keep eggs refrigerated until just before hunting time.  Don’t leave them out for more than two hours because bacteria could grow to high numbers and cause food poisoning. If the egg shells are cracked when the eggs are found, throw the eggs away and don’t eat them because there is too high a risk of bacterial contamination through the cracked shell. Wash the found eggs, re-refrigerate them, and eat them within 7 days.

The Centers for Disease Control and Foodsafety.gov has great tips on safe egg handling tips and more information on keeping the rest of your spring celebration food safe.  In addition, if you have additional questions about food safety, please contact the De Pere Health Department at 339-4054.
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