It’s an Eggstra Special Time!

 We’re quickly approaching Easter. All the stores have eggs on sale because this is a time when lots of eggs get hard cooked (you do notice that I didn’t say hard boiled) and colored.

 My Mother always used to warn us that we’d get a stomach ache if we ate a hard cooked egg too fast, and that putting salt on it would help avoid that stomach ache. Well, as I’ve learned more and more about food safety, I would wager that the ‘indigestion’ was a result of improper handling of those hard cooked eggs. What did she do? At Easter the eggs were always hidden outside (yes, on the ground) and then because they had been dyed and were so pretty, they were put in a basket and put on display!

 What could possibly be wrong with that? First, if you’re going to hide eggs outside, make it the plastic variety. The protective coating on the egg has been washed off during cooking, leaving the porous shell unprotected and an easier entry for any less than desirable bacteria. Second, hard cooked eggs have a shorter expiration time than fresh eggs. Hard cooked eggs should be refrigerated within 2 hours of cooking. And even though, they have been kept constantly refrigerated, they will last for only 7 days. But leave them at room temperature, and they need to be discarded in 24 hours!

For answers to all your egg safety questions, link to http://www.fsis.usda.gov/factsheets/focus_on_shell_eggs/#21

For information on how to properly hard cook eggs, visit  http://lancaster.unl.edu/food/ciq-egg-safety.shtml

For more about traditions involving eggs, link to http://www.incredibleegg.org/kids-and-family/holiday-and-special-occassions/easter-passover-and-springtime

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