17 March 2008

Don't be a bad (Easter) egg

Yes, it’s perfectly safe to eat those Easter eggs – as long as you follow a few basic tips when preparing and storing them. Dietitians at UT Southwestern Medical Center advises egg artisans to decide before coloring their eggs whether or not they plan to eat their miniature Faberge creations.

“If you want to eat decorated hard-cooked eggs, be sure that all the decorating materials are food-safe and that you wash each egg beforehand,” says Dr. Vickie Vaclavik, a registered dietitian and clinical nutritionist at UT Southwestern. “Also, wash your hands between all the cooking, cooling, dyeing and decorating processes, and keep the finished hard-cooked eggs refrigerated as much as possible.”

Consider egg-hiding locations carefully, she says, in order to avoid contamination from animals or lawn chemicals. “Most importantly, don’t leave eggs outside for more than two hours,” Vaclavik adds. “Hard-cooked eggs that have been refrigerated will last for about one week, but any left out for more than two hours should be tossed.”

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