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Publication #FAR8702

Egg Safety1

Amy Simonne2

Figure 1. 
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During the spring and summer months, many occasions tempt us to pack one of those great, portable, natural foods: the hard-boiled egg. If your family plans to include hard-boiled eggs when packing a picnic basket or hiding Easter eggs, although the risk of getting a foodborne illness from eggs is very low, some food safety precautions must be followed.

While only a small number of eggs may contain salmonella, it's prudent for consumers to follow a couple of food safety recommendations. At the store, choose eggs that are Grade A or AA with clean, uncracked shells.

You don't need to wash eggs. Nevertheless, you can further protect yourself and your family by discarding eggs that are unclean, cracked, broken, or leaking. You also need to make sure that the eggs have been kept refrigerated because any bacteria present can multiply quickly.

If you want to eat colored eggs, color only uncracked eggs and use food colors or natural color from vegetables such as beets, cranberries, and blueberries. Hard-cooked eggs will keep refrigerated for one week. And, if these eggs were out of the refrigerator for more than two hours, discard them. So if you use hard-cooked eggs for decorative pieces or hiding them on the ground, you might want to save those for the Easter Bunny...rather than your children.

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This document is FAR8702, one of a series of the Family Youth and Community Sciences Department, UF/IFAS Extension. Broadcast as program 097 and published December 2007. Reviewed January 2015. In the interest of time and/or clarity, the broadcast version of this script may have been modified. Visit the EDIS website at


Amy Simonne, associate professor, Department of Family, Youth and Community Sciences, UF/IFAS Extension, Gainesville, FL 32611.

The Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) is an Equal Opportunity Institution authorized to provide research, educational information and other services only to individuals and institutions that function with non-discrimination with respect to race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, political opinions or affiliations. For more information on obtaining other UF/IFAS Extension publications, contact your county's UF/IFAS Extension office.

U.S. Department of Agriculture, UF/IFAS Extension Service, University of Florida, IFAS, Florida A & M University Cooperative Extension Program, and Boards of County Commissioners Cooperating. Nick T. Place, dean for UF/IFAS Extension.