DETROIT (WWJ) – Coloring Easter eggs and hosting Easter egg hunts are fun holiday traditions for many Michigan families. The Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development (MDARD) reminds consumers to take some simple steps this Easter to ensure safe egg handling and minimize food safety risks.
“Consumers also play an important role in food safety by following basic, but very important, food handling, storing and preparing guidelines,” said Kevin Besey, MDARD’s Acting Food & Dairy Division Director. “Some easy-to-follow guidelines regarding egg handling and storage will help ensure safe Easter meals and events.”
It is important to remember to keep hard-boiled eggs, peeled or in the shell, in the refrigerator below 40° F for no more than one week. Hard-boiled eggs should be stored on an interior shelf of the refrigerator, not in the door.
MDARD also recommends these safe egg handling tips:
- Check egg cartons before buying, passing over cracked eggs. Discard any cracked or dirty eggs you discover after you get the eggs home.
- Keep eggs and foods separate from raw meat, seafood and poultry in grocery carts and in the refrigerator.
- Wash hands for at least 20 seconds in warm, soapy water before and after each step of preparation from cooking to hiding.
- Wash all food contact surface areas (counter tops, utensils, dishes, and cutting boards) with soap and water after contact with raw eggs. Then disinfect the food contact surfaces using a sanitizing agent, such as bleach, following label instructions.
- Cook two sets of eggs – one for the Easter egg hunt and one for eating. Cook eggs thoroughly, and do not keep eggs warm or at room temperature (between 40 to 140ºF) for more than 2 hours.
- Do not consume hard-boiled eggs that have been unrefrigerated for more than two hours.
You can call toll-free the U.S. Department of Agriculture Meat and Poultry Hotline at (800) 535-4555 or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Food Information Line at (888) SAFE-FOOD.