Eggs-tra Care for Spring Celebrations
It's spring -- the season to enjoy the great outdoors and celebrate special occasions, like Easter, Passover, and graduation! While eggs are used all year ’round, they are especially important for many spring and summertime activities.
. Like meat, poultry, seafood and produce, eggs are perishable and need to be handled properly to prevent foodborne illness. Occasionally, eggs with clean, uncracked shells can be contaminated with bacteria, specifically Salmonella Enteritidis. Here's what YOU can do to have a safe and egg-cellent spring!
Clean Up, Clean Up...
Clean Up, Clean Up...
- Clean hands are key! Always wash hands with warm water and soap for 20 seconds before and after food handling.
- Beware of cross-contamination. Foodborne illness can occur when kitchen equipment is not thoroughly washed between uses. Always wash food contact surfaces and cooking equipment, including blenders, in hot water and soap.
- Bacteria love to grow in moist, protein-rich foods. Refrigeration slows bacterial growth, so it's important to refrigerate eggs and egg-containing foods. Your refrigerator should be at 40 °F or below. Use a thermometer to monitor.
- Remember the 2-Hour Rule: Don't leave perishables out at room temperature for more than two hours.
- Whether you like your breakfast eggs scrambled or fried, always cook eggs until the yolks and whites are firm.
- Tasting is tempting, but licking a spoon or tasting raw cookie dough from a mixing bowl can be risky. Bacteria could be lurking in the raw eggs.
- Cook cheesecakes, lasagna, baked pasta and egg dishes to an internal temperature of 160 ºF. Use a food thermometer.
- Only use eggs that have been refrigerated, and discard eggs that are cracked.
- Keep hard-cooked eggs chilled on a shelf inside the refrigerator, not in the refrigerator door.
- Remember that hard-boiled eggs are only safe to eat for one week after cooking.
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Meat and Poultry Hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854). TTY 1-800-256-7072.
- The Fight BAC!® Web site at www.fightbac.org.
- Gateway to Government Food Safety Information at www.foodsafety.gov