With Easter upon us, the Commonwealth Healthcare Corporation (CHCC) would like to remind the public to keep in mind food safety when preparing for an egg hunt or picnic feast.
Eggs, even those with clean, uncracked shells, may contain bacteria called salmonella that can cause foodborne illness.
Food safety begins with proper cleanliness. Here are four simple safety tips from the Food and Drug Administration:
- Clean – Wash hands and surfaces often.
- Separate – Don’t cross-contaminate.
- Cook – Cook to proper temperatures.
- Chill – Refrigerate promptly.
To prevent the spread of dirt and germs, wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before handling eggs at every preparation step, including cooking, cooling, dyeing, and hiding. And during the egg hunt, be sure to keep in mind cleanliness while outdoors.
• Keep hard-boiled Easter eggs refrigerated until just before the hunt. Cold temperatures keep most harmful bacteria from multiplying.
• Hide eggs in places that are protected from dirt, pets, and other potential sources of bacteria.
• After the hunt, discard eggs that are cracked or dirty. Bacteria can enter eggs through cracks in the shell.
• Rinse uncracked eggs, then place them back in the refrigerator until it’s time to eat them.
Please discard eggs or food left unrefrigerated for more than two hours. On a hot day (90 degrees Fahrenheit or higher), reduce this time to one hour. Use a cooler with ice or cold packs to keep perishable foods cold.
While we are in a pandemic, remember the 3 Ws: Wear a mask, wash your hands, and watch your distance.