Canadian Food Inspection Agency

Canadian Food Inspection Agency

April 10, 2006 15:11 ET

CFIA/Notice to Food Editors: Easter Egg Safety

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - April 10, 2006) -

Hard-boil eggs then cool quickly. Do not let your children colour eggs that have cracked shells.

Use a colouring dye that is non-toxic.

Store the coloured eggs in a container in the refrigerator until you're ready to hide them or eat them. If your children want to eat their Easter eggs after using them as decoration, display the eggs in a bowl of ice.

Do not eat Easter eggs that have been out of the refrigerator for more than two hours.

Do not eat Easter eggs with cracked shells.

FOOD SAFETY TIPS FOR EGGS

Eggs are good for you, but like other foods, they must be handled with care! Although Salmonella is rarely found in eggs in Canada, it pays to take care. Follow these tips from Canada's food safety experts:

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/corpaffr/foodfacts/eggtipse.shtml

Subscribe to the CFIA's free e-mail Food Recalls/Allergy Alerts subscription service available at www.inspection.gc.ca to automatically receive e-mail updates on food recalls. Being informed about food recalls is helpful, practical and in some cases, can be life-saving! You can join or leave a variety of e-mail lists managed by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency using the on-line form found at: http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/tools/listserv/listsube

Fact Sheet

Food Safety Tips for Eggs

Eggs are good for you - but like other foods, they must be handled with care! Although Salmonella is rarely found in eggs in Canada, it pays to take care. Follow these tips from Canada's food safety experts.



Play it food safe!

- When cooking eggs for high-risk groups like young children, the
elderly, pregnant women and people with weak immune systems, be
sure to cook eggs thoroughly. Raw or lightly cooked eggs may
contain Salmonella or other bacteria that can make you sick.

Shop with care

- Choose only refrigerated Grade A eggs.
- Check the shells! They should be clean and uncracked.
- Check the "best before" date on the package. If there is no
"best before" date, make sure to use the eggs within the next
three to four weeks.
- When shopping, pick up eggs and other cold food last so they
stay cold.

Get off to a clean start

- Before and after you handle eggs, wash your hands with soap and
warm water for 20 seconds. Clean and sanitize all cooking
equipment, utensils and work surfaces with a mild bleach
solution.

BLEACH SANITIZER

- Combine 5 mL (1 tsp) of bleach with 750 mL (3 cups) of water
in a labelled spray bottle.
- After cleaning, spray sanitizer on the surface/utensil and let
stand briefly.
- Rinse with lots of clean water, and air dry (or use clean
towels).

Keep your eggs cold!

- Always put eggs and other perishables away first when you get
home from the grocery store. Keep eggs in the coldest section
of the fridge, usually near the back.
- Store eggs in their original carton! It protects them from
odours and damage - and you will be able to check the "best
before" date easily. (Remember to use older eggs first!)
- If raw eggs crack by accident, remove them from the shell and
put them in a covered container in the refrigerator and use them
within four days.
- Hard-boiled eggs can be stored in the fridge for one week in a
covered container.

Cold facts about freezing eggs

To freeze whole raw eggs or raw egg whites:

- Beat the eggs until well blended.
- Pour them into a freezer container, and seal tightly.
- Label the container with the date and the number of eggs.

To freeze raw egg yolks:

- Beat in 1/8 tsp salt or 1 1/2 tsp sugar or corn syrup for every
four egg yolks.
- Pour them into a freezer container, and seal tightly.
- Label the container with the date and the number of eggs.

Foodsafe tip: You can freeze eggs for up to four months. Defrost in
the refrigerator, microwave or under cold running water.

Ask the "eggs-perts"!

Q1. Should eggs stay at room temperature for more than two hours?

A1. No! Neither raw nor cooked eggs should be kept out of the
refrigerator for more than two hours. Foods spoil quickly in
the danger zone temperature range of 4 degres celcius to 60
degres celcius (40 degres Farenheit to 140 degres Farenheit).

Q2. Is it safe to eat raw or lightly cooked eggs?

A2. Foods made from raw or lightly cooked eggs may be harmful to
vulnerable people such as young children, the elderly, pregnant
women and people with weak immune systems. When serving eggs to
these people, cook them thoroughly.

Foodsafe tip: Try pasteurized egg products. They are an excellent
and safe alternative to make food where the eggs won't be cooked.
Try them when making eggnog, mayonnaise, Hollandaise sauce, cookie
dough (if you eat raw cookie dough), salad dressings, ice cream and
mousses. Pasteurization destroys disease-causing organisms such as
salmonella.

Q3. Are hard-cooked decorated Easter eggs safe to eat?

A3. Yes - if you follow a few quick rules. First, be sure to hard
cook eggs and cool them immediately. Use a colouring dye that
is non-toxic, and use eggs with uncracked shells. Store the
coloured eggs in a covered container in the refrigerator until
you need them.

Foodsafe tip: Want to display your eggs and eat them later? Display
them in a bowl of ice.


Safeguarding Canada's Food Supply

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is the Government of Canada's key science-based regulator for food safety(i), animal health and plant protection. At the CFIA, the safety of Canada's food supply is central to everything we do.

(i) in partnership with Health Canada

You can also find food safety information on the Canadian Partnership for Consumer Food Safety Education Web site at www.canfightbac.org

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