From selecting the best eggs, to dyeing and hiding them, handle eggs safely to ensure a safe Easter egg hunt!
Selecting eggs for dyeing
- Inspect fresh eggs before purchasing them, making sure that they are not dirty or cracked. Dangerous bacteria may enter a cracked egg.
- Store uncooked eggs in their original carton in the refrigerator and use within three weeks. Eggs are a potentially hazardous food in the same category as meat, poultry, fish, and milk.
Cooking perfect hard-cooked eggs
Wash your hands between all the steps of cooking, cooling, dyeing and decorating.
- Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan; add enough tap water to cover at least 1 inch above eggs.
- Cover pan and quickly bring to a boil. Turn off heat. Let eggs stand, covered, in the hot water for 15-20 minutes for large eggs. (Because the boiling point and temperature of water decreases as elevation increases, cooking times for hard cooked eggs in Colorado will vary.)
- Drain eggs and immediately place them in iced water until completely cooled.
- Pat dry with a paper towel and place in a clean, covered container. Refrigerate until you are ready to eat or decorate.
- Hard-cooked eggs should be used within one week.
Safely dyeing eggs
- Do not handle eggs excessively, and wash your hands thoroughly when you handle them.
- Do not color eggs whose shells crack during cooking. (Bacteria can enter an egg with a cracked shell.)
- Use food coloring or food-grade dyes if the eggs will be eaten.
- Refrigerate eggs after decorating until they are to be hidden or eaten.
Hiding Eggs Safely
Care should be used in choosing hiding places for Easter eggs.
- Avoid areas where eggs may come in contact with pets, wild animals, insects or lawn chemicals. Do not eat hidden eggs that are cracked since bacteria may have come in contact with the edible portion.
- The total time for hiding and hunting eggs should not exceed two hours.
- The ‘found‘ eggs should be re-refrigerated if not eaten within two hours from the time they left the refrigerator.
- If the Easter egg hunt will take longer than two hours, hide plastic eggs instead.