Hard-Boiled Egg Safety: Everything You Need to Know for the Easter Season

eggs and salmonella dyeing infoEaster is fast approaching. Dyeing eggs is such a fun family activity, but what happens when kids want to eat those colorful decorations? How long can those edible crafts remain, well, safely edible?


Natalie Buntzen, RD with St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, California, shares her thoughts on how to enjoy the holiday without ending up with an egg-induced illness.

"Springtime is just around the corner, and if your kids are anything like mine, they are getting excited about dyeing Easter eggs," Buntzen says. "However, because raw eggs may have salmonella or other bacteria, it’s important to follow safe handling practices during cooking, cooling, dyeing, and hiding."

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A good rule of thumb when it comes to cooking hard-boiled eggs is to place them in a pot and cover them with at least an inch of water. Then, bring the water to a gentle, rolling boil. Next, turn off the heat and allow the eggs to stand, covered, for 15 minutes.

The following are the registered dietitian's steps to safely enjoying eggs this season -- though some tips are great to note all year round:

  1. Wash your hands thoroughly before handling the eggs.
  2. Once the eggs are cooked and then cooled in cold water, place them back in the refrigerator until you are ready to dye them. Only use food-grade dyes and discard any eggs that may have cracked during the cooking process.
  3. Once you are finished dyeing the eggs, place them back in the refrigerator until you are ready to hide them.
  4. Try to hide the eggs in safe places away from dirt and pets, and don’t let them sit out longer than two hours and no longer than one hour if the temperature is above 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

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  5. Once the hunt is over, throw away any cracked eggs and immediately refrigerate the ones you plan to eat.
  6. Eat your hard-boiled Easter eggs within one week after cooking.
  7. If you plan on using some of the eggs for decoration, just remember they are no longer safe to eat!

Have fun coloring those eggs and consuming them without worry!


Image via altafulla/Shutterstock

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