5 Easter Egg Food Safety Questions: Answered

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Hard-boiled eggs are an integral part of Easter celebrations! When purchasing, cooking, decorating and eating hard-boiled eggs, know the answers to frequently asked food safety questions to be sure everyone stays healthy and fully enjoys the holiday celebrations.

  • Can you eat colored hard-boiled eggs?

If the eggs were decorated with food-safe dyes and stored properly in the fridge, they are safe to eat within one week of being cooked. If eggs are left out of refrigeration for more than two hours, they should be thrown away to prevent foodborne illness.

  • When is the best time to buy Easter eggs?

Consider buying eggs about a week ahead of hard-boiling them for easy peeling. Fresh eggs can be hard to peel, so allow for 7-10 days in the refrigerator before making hard-boiled eggs. See how to make easy-peel hard-boiled eggs.

  • How do you peel a hard-boiled egg?

Peel hard-boiled eggs as soon as they’ve finished cooling, which allows the egg to slightly contract in its shell. Crackle the egg all over by tapping it on a counter, then roll the egg gently between your hands to loosen the shell. Peel the egg starting at the large end. If you hold the egg under cold running water or dip it in a bowl of water, this may also help remove the shell.

  • How long are hard-cooked eggs safe to eat?

Hard-cooked eggs should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking and used within one week. Eggshells have a protective coating that is washed away when eggs are hard-cooked. This leaves the pores in the shell open for bacteria to enter. If eggs crack during cooking or are peeled, they should be kept refrigerated and eaten within one to two days.

  • How can a green ring around hard-boiled egg yolks be avoided?

A green ring on a hard-cooked yolk is the result of overcooking. The green color is caused by sulfur and iron compound reactions on the yolk surface, and the ring occurs when the egg has been overcooked and not cooled down quickly. Discoloration due to overcooking does not impact food safety, or flavor, and these eggs are safe to eat.

Click here to get more information about egg safety and freshness, including the best way to store eggs and how long eggs are safe to eat after purchasing. Visit the Egg Safety Center for additional resources.

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