Easter eggs or festive bacteria bombs?



April 2, 2019 - 10:07 AM

Why eggs at Easter?  According to Agriculture Department Historians, the Easter egg may have gotten its start centuries before Christianity as a celebration of spring.  

Historians say the Persians and the Egyptians exchanged eggs decorated in spring colors as a way of celebrating Spring. Since the egg is a symbol of new life and fertility it’s only natural that it be included in the Easter celebration.

As many of us will continue the decorated egg tradition in our family settings this Easter, there are some important safe egg handling methods to remember.  When decorating, cooking or hiding Easter eggs, extra care is needed as eggs are handled a great deal more than usual around Easter. Remember to:

• Wash your hands thoroughly with hot soapy water and rinse them before handling the eggs when cooking, cooling, dyeing and hiding them.

• Be sure to inspect the eggs before purchasing them, making sure they are not dirty or cracked. Dangerous bacteria may enter a cracked egg.

• Store eggs in their original cartons in the refrigerator rather than the refrigerator door.

• Be sure that all the decorating materials you use are food safe.

• If you’re having an Easter egg hunt, consider hiding places carefully. Avoid areas where the eggs might come into contact with pets, wild animals, birds, reptiles, insects or lawn chemicals.

• Make sure you find all the eggs you’ve hidden and then refrigerate them. Discard cracked eggs.

• As long as the eggs are NOT out of refrigeration over two hours, they will be safe to eat. Do not eat eggs that have been out of refrigeration more than two hours. Refrigerate hard-cooked eggs in their shells and use them within one week. If you are planning to use colored eggs as decorations (for centerpieces, etc.) ,where the eggs will be out of refrigeration for many hours or several days, discard them after they have served their decorative purpose.

Have a safe and happy Easter!  

For more information on food safety and eggs go to the Southwind Extension website at www.southwind.ksu.edu