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Play it safe with eggs this season

The FDA says those colorful Easter eggs in the basket on your table are unsafe to eat after two hours at room temperature, reports the Daytona Beach News-Journal.

With Passover and Easter approaching, the FDA wants to remind consumers that fresh eggs must be handled carefully. Even eggs with clean, uncracked shells may contain Salmonella. The FDA requires all cartons of shell eggs that have not been treated to destroy Salmonella to carry a safe handling statement.

KEEP RAW EGGS COLD

  • Buy eggs only if sold from a refrigerator or refrigerated case.
  • Open the carton and buy only eggs whose shells are not cracked.
  • Store in refrigerator as soon as possible, in their original carton. Use within 3 weeks.
     

COOK UNTIL HOT

  • Cook eggs until both the yolk and the white are firm. Scrambled eggs should not be runny.
  • Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 165 degrees; use a food thermometer to be sure.
  • In recipes that call for raw egg (such as Caesar salad dressing and homemade ice cream), use only pasteurized egg products or eggs treated to destroy Salmonella. Treated eggs are clearly marked.
  • Serve cooked eggs and egg-containing foods immediately after cooking.
  • For buffet-style serving, keep hot egg dishes above 140 degrees, and cold egg dishes below 40 degrees.
  • Cooked egg dishes, such as quiches or souffles, may be refrigerated but should be reheated to 165 degrees before serving.
     

CHILL PROPERLY

  • Refrigerate all hard-cooked eggs — whether in the shell or peeled — after 2 hours.
  • To chill a large amount of a hot egg-containing leftovers, divide into several shallow containers to cool quickly.
  • Eat cooked egg dishes within 4 days.

ON THE ROAD

  • Cooked eggs for lunch should be packed in an insulated cooler with enough ice or frozen gel packs to keep them cold.
  • Don’t put the cooler in the trunk — carry it in the air-conditioned passenger compartment of the car.