Prevent salmonella food poisoning this Easter by handling eggs carefully

Easter baking and the Easter holiday increases the use and consumption of eggs in many householders, so it's important to learn how to avoid salmonella food poisoning.

Michigan State University Extension and the United States Food and Drug Administration has advice for consumers when using eggs this holiday season. Easter baking and the Easter holiday increases the use and consumption of eggs in many householders. To keep you and your family safe from Salmonella food poisoning follow these tips:

  • Reduce the risk of Salmonella poisoning by keeping eggs in their carton and refrigerated below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If eggs become cracked or are dirt discard them.
  • Wash hands, food surface areas and utensils before and after handling eggs.
  • Foods that contain eggs should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking/serving. Foods like quiches, breakfast casseroles or hard cooked eggs must be eaten or refrigerated within this time period.
  • If you or members of your family are older, very young (3 years of age and under) or have a compromised immune system, it is advisable to consider using pasteurized egg products or ensure that all eggs dishes are cooked thoroughly to 160 degrees F. It is recommended that all consumers use a food thermometer to check the temperature of food to ensure the safety of food.

If you and your children are coloring eggs, be sure to wash hands and working area thoroughly at every step including cooking, cooling and dyeing of eggs.

Refrigerate hard-cooked eggs, if you won’t be coloring them immediately after cooking and cooling. Color only un-cracked eggs. If any eggs crack during dyeing or while on display, discard cracked eggs and any eggs out of refrigeration for more than two hours.

If hard-cooked eggs are kept out of refrigeration for many hours or days for decoration or hiding, discard the eggs and do not eat. FSIS recommends that if you hide eggs, avoid areas where eggs might come into contact with dirt, pets, wild animals, birds, reptiles, insects or lawn chemicals.

Ensure the safety of food for our families and guests by following these tips. Knowing how to handle the eggs from purchase to preparation and then to storage will guard against food poisoning outbreaks.

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