Ever wondered how to keep hardboiled eggs safe? How about an Easter ham? I found this article very helpful and thought you might as well.
With Easter just around the corner, it’s time to remember safety when dealing with ham and eggs. Dying eggs has been a tradition for many years, but it’s important to never forget food safety when carrying out this tradition. After hard cooking the eggs, dye them and return them to the refrigerator within 2 hours. If the eggs are going to be eaten, use a food-safe coloring. As with any food, remember to wash your hands before and after handling them.
If you chose to use eggs for decorations, you also need to remember to use safety. For example, some raw eggs may contain Salmonella and you must use caution when blowing out the contents to hollow out the shell for decorating. Use only eggs that have been refrigerated and are uncracked. To destroy bacteria that may be present on the surface of the egg wash the egg in hot water and then rinse in a solution of chlorine bleach and water. After blowing out the egg, refrigerate the contents and use within 2-4 days.
If your Easter Egg Hunt contains hard-cooked eggs and you plan to use them, you must make sure the eggs aren’t cracked and haven’t been out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours. Other egg dishes such as deviled eggs or egg salad need to be used within 3-4 days.
The Easter ham is just as important as the eggs when talking about food safety. A ham should be cooked to an internal temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If you have leftover ham from dinner you’ll also want to make sure you reheat it to a temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid contamination from food borne illnesses. The USDA recommends that you cook hams at 325 degrees Fahrenheit. How long your ham must cook is determined by the size and whether or not it has a bone in it. The USDA offers a free chart with all the recommended times on it and can be found at http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/ham/index.asp.
Easter isn’t the only time Americans eat eggs, in fact the average American eats 254 eggs a year! Whether you’re eating your eggs scrambled, hard boiled or sunny side up, remember these egg safety tips.
Thank you Jennifer for allowing me to pass along this article. Jennifer is a County Extension Agent in Kansas.