“Put all your eggs in the food safety basket”
Easter is upon us and so are the many festive traditions of this event. From egg decorating activities to Egg-xtravagant dinner parties, this time of the year calls for certain food products that are not to be all festive about – that is, if you’re not familiar with the safety tips of this holiday:
Eggs are traditionally used as an ingredient in a variety of Easter dishes. Whether they are covered in over-the-top decorations or just served plain, you should always make sure to follow these food safety tips:
- Inspect the eggs before purchasing them and make sure there are no cracks or residues on them.
- Make sure to boil eggs until white and yolk is firm.
- It is better to use plastic eggs for hiding while colored eggs should always be kept in the refrigerator or no longer than two hours in room temperature. Make sure to use edible colors on your eggs.
- Hard boiled eggs that are kept in the refrigerator must be consumed within 7 days
Chickens are signs of fertility, new life and a symbol of the beginning of spring during Easter time. Chickens are also becoming a very popular ingredient served at Easter dinner tables. Unfortunately, they are also one the most recognized food products in relations to food illnesses and deaths caused by Campylobacter and Salmonella. Let us keep this meal tradition going by following these simple cooking and preparation practices:
- You probably already heard this before, so just to remind you again – Never wash raw chicken before preparing it! Running juices from the washed chicken contaminates your sink and surroundings, and may eventually cross-contaminate to other fresh food products.
- Undercooked chicken meat is one of the main cause of illnesses, therefore always make sure cook completely until juices run clear and no pink area is visible. Chicken must be cooked to a safe internal temperature of 165°F.
- Carefully clean all kitchen tools and surfaces used to cut the chicken.
Ham and beef
Ham and beef are very popular meat products served during Easter time. Raw or ready to eat products can constitute a serious health risk when simple kitchen hygiene practices are neglected:
- Always wash hands before handling any type of meat products.
- Avoid keeping meat products out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours
- Raw ham and beef must be cooked to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165 °F while pre-cooked products should be reheated to at least 145°F. Use a meat thermometer to check internal temperatures
Find more information on kitchen hygiene practices here.
Happy Safe Easter!