Is It Safe to Eat Dyed Easter Eggs?
Don't rule out painted Easter eggs as a snack just yet. Here are a few things to know before you crack open those pretty jewel-colored gems.
If you’re anything like me, the best part about dyeing Easter eggs is peeling them open and devouring them whole. But don’t go nibbling on your own colorful, hard-boiled Easter creations just yet—it isn’t always safe to eat dyed Easter eggs. Learning how to cook them, store them and serve them properly are all necessary steps to take before you can safely eat them post-decorating.
Cook Them Properly
If you plan on eating your decorated Easter eggs, be sure to cook them all the way through to reduce the likelihood of bacteria, like salmonella. Both the yolk and the white of the egg should be firm after boiling. Boiling hard eggs may seem like a simple cooking rite of passage, but it takes a little more than you think to get ’em right. Take them out of the pot early and they’ll be too soft and under cooked—leave them in too long and the yolk will turn a funky green color.
Use a Safe Dye
We know it’s tempting to grab any old paint to decorate eggs on the big day. But, those who are interested in eating their painted Easter eggs should opt for either traditional food-safe dye (try this brand!) or natural dye instead. This way, no chemicals or harmful substances will seep into the egg or come into contact while you snack.
How to Make Food-Safe Easter Egg Dye
In a glass cup, mix 1/2 cup boiling water, 1 tsp. white vinegar and drops of food coloring to reach desired color. Or learn how to make natural egg dyes from produce.
Don’t Let Them Sit Out for Long
For best taste, hard-boiled eggs should be eaten right after they’ve been cooked. Dyed Easter eggs that have been hard-boiled are no exception. Keep your eye on the clock, making sure that your decorated Easter eggs have not been left out for more than 2 hours—or for longer than 1 hour if the temperature is above 90°, since bacteria grows faster in warmer temperatures. According to the American Egg Board, hard-boiled Easter eggs will last up to one week stored in the fridge.
So, is it safe to eat dyed Easter eggs? Yes…as long as you follow all the cooking, serving and decorating safety precautions.
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