Tag Archive: Eggcellent

“Egg”cellent Food Safety Tips for Your Holiday

“Egg”cellent Food Safety Tips for Your Holiday

Easter Egg picIt seems that everywhere you look, an egg hunt is being advertised, egg dye kits are on every corner in the store, and the Internet is a-buzz with cool decorating ideas. Keep in mind this season that this fun family activity could turn rotten if you forget food safety.

Outbreaks of foodborne illness, especially salmonella, have been associated with the improper preparation and storage of eggs. Salmonella is not something you want to remember when you think back to memories of decorating and hunting eggs in the spring.

Common symptoms of salmonella include nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, and headache. Children are one population most susceptible to foodborne illness.

There is no reason to worry about potential food safety hazards associated with your holiday eggs as long as you remember to follow these guidelines:

  • Clean and sanitize your hands, preparation area, and utensils before, during, and after the cooking process.
  • Use eggs that are clean and free of cracks and leaks.
  • Cook eggs completely – no rushing or short cuts. If you don’t have the time, pick another day to do it.
  • Use only food-grade dyes; these include food coloring and dye sold in egg dye kits.  Use beet juice, blueberry juice, etc. as alternatives to artificial dye.
  • Refrigerate eggs as soon as you are finished decorating or, if decorating later, after cooking and drying.
  • The refrigerator door is the warmest spot in your fridge; store eggs in the carton in the main compartment, not in the door.
  • Toss eggs that have been out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours.  If eggs are not “found” or eaten, within this time, make the sacrifice and throw them away (of course, do this while the kids aren’t looking.)
  • When hiding eggs for a hunt, keep them in areas that are clean, free of dirt, and away from pets or pests.  Consider decorating one set for hunting and another for eating.
  • Hard-boiled eggs are safe for up to one week with proper cooking, storing, and handling procedures.

Keep these guidelines in mind for an “egg”cellent holiday with family, friends, and fun!

 

PG

Author: jbreslawski – jbreslawski@ufl.edu

jbreslawski

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/03/11/eggcellent-food-safety-tips-for-your-holiday/

Eggcellent Food Safety Practices at Eastertime

Egg food safety at Easter time

Egg food safety at Easter time

Easter activities often include eggs. During the Spring holiday, eggs are both a decorative craft object and an inspiration for springtime fun and games, and, oh by the way, they are fun to eat too.

Eggs and egg products can be an important part of your diet. Although there are many myths and misconceptions about how to safely cook and handle eggs, all it really requires is care. By following a few simple guidelines, eggs and egg products can play a valuable and economic role in your holiday menu.

To avoid the possibility of foodborne illness, fresh eggs must be handled carefully.  Even eggs with clean, uncracked shells may occasionally contain bacteria called Salmonella that can cause an intestinal infection.  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is working to prevent this problem in eggs by requiring that egg producers obtain chicks that are certified Samonella-free, that the hens are kept in houses that are free from rodents and other Salmonella carrying sources, that the houses are continually tested for Salmonella, and that the eggs are stored at temperatures that retard Salmonella growth.  Consumers play a large role in this prevention strategy.  In fact, the most effective way to prevent egg-related illness is by knowing how to buy, store, handle and cook eggs—or foods that contain them—safely.

Following these instructions is important for everyone, but especially for those most vulnerable to foodborne disease—children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems.

Buy Right

  • Buy eggs only if sold from a refrigerator or refrigerated case.
  • Open the carton and make sure that the eggs are clean and the shells are not cracked.
  • Refrigerate promptly.
  • Store eggs in their original carton and use them within 4 to 5 weeks.

Keep Everything Clean

Before preparing any food, remember that cleanliness is key!

  • Wash hands, utensils, equipment, and kitchen work surfaces with hot, soapy water before and after they come in contact with eggs and egg-containing foods.

Cook Thoroughly

Cook eggs thoroughly.  Thorough cooking is perhaps the most important step in making sure eggs are safe.

  • Cook eggs until both the yolk and the white are firm.  Scrambled eggs should not be runny.

Serve Safely

Bacteria can multiply in temperatures from 40°F (5°C) to 140°F (60°C), so it’s very important to serve foods safely.

  • Serve cooked eggs and egg-containing foods immediately after cooking.
  • For buffet-style serving, hot egg dishes should be kept hot, and cold egg dishes kept cold.
  • Eggs and egg dishes, such as quiches or soufflés, may be refrigerated for serving later but should be thoroughly reheated to 165°F (74°C) before serving.

Chill Properly

  • Cooked eggs, including hard-boiled eggs, and egg-containing foods should not sit out for more than 2 hours.  Within 2 hours, either reheat or refrigerate.
  • Use hard-cooked eggs (in the shell or peeled) within one week after cooking

On the Road

  • Cooked eggs for a picnic should be packed in an insulated cooler with enough ice or frozen gel packs to keep them cold.
  • Don’t put the cooler in a hot car—carry it in the air-conditioned passenger compartment of the car.

Safe Handling Instructions

To prevent illness from bacteria:  keep eggs refrigerated, cook eggs until yolks are firm, and cook foods containing eggs thoroughly.

 

Hard-cooked Easter eggs can help stretch your food dollars. Packed with high-quality protein, vitamins, and minerals, they add good nutrition when included in casseroles, sandwiches, and salads. Remember, hard-cooked eggs should be refrigerated as much as possible between cooking, decorating, and the hunt or the display.

However they are used, eggs are delicious, nutritious, and economical.

 

For further information, contact

Dorothy C. Lee, C.F.C.S.

Family & Consumer Sciences Agent

UF IFAS Extension Escambia County

(850) 475-5230

dclee@ufl.edu

 

PG

Author: Dorothy C. Lee – dclee@ufl.edu

Family & Consumer Sciences Extension Agent in Escambia County

Dorothy C. Lee

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2015/03/19/eggcellent-food-safety-practices-at-eastertime/