Take Egg-Stra Care With Food Safety!

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Food Safety During Easter

Individual Coloring Easter EggsA child paints eggs.

With Easter fast approaching, many families will often celebrate in different ways. Some families may choose to dye eggs, participate in egg hunts, and attend large family gatherings with home-cooked goodies. 

In all the excitement, and rushing about, it is vital to remember food safety. We made it easy for you and have provided tips to keep you and your families healthy and happy during Easter. 

Dyeing Eggs

One of my family’s favorite pastimes is dyeing Easter eggs. Keep these tips in mind when preparing your Easter eggs.

  • Cooking: Always wash your hands before preparing food.
  • After cooking is complete, eggs should be cooled to below 70 degrees within 2 hours AND then at or below 41 degrees within a total of six hours.
  • If eggs are going to be consumed, use food-safe dyes. Return eggs to the refrigerator after coloring.
  • Do not color eggs with cracked shells.

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Makes 6 servings | Serving size: 1 egg

Ingredients Needed:

  • 6 eggs
  • 4 cups water
  • Ice Cubes


  1. Wash hands before preparing food.
  2. Place eggs on the bottom of a pot and fill with cold water, about 1 inch above the eggs.
  3. Place cover on the pot and bring water to a rapid boil over high heat.
  4. Once the water boils, keep the cover on the pot and remove it from heat. Let eggs sit for 10 minutes, covered, in the water.
  5. Fill a bowl with ice and water. 
  6. After 10 minutes is up, use tongs to take the eggs out of the pot and place them in the ice water for 10 minutes.

Take your deviled eggs to the next level!


(Recipe Courtesy of the NC Egg Association)

Deviled Eggs 3 Ways (Pesto, Smokey bacon, Avocado)Source: NC Egg Association


  • 12 eggs
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 4 Tbsp. mayonnaise
  • 1/2 Tbsp. pesto
  • chipotle hot sauce, to taste
  • 1 Tbsp. fully cooked bacon, chopped
  • salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Place eggs in a single layer in a saucepan and cover with enough cold water that there’s 1 inch of water above the eggs. Heat on high until water begins to boil, then cover, remove from heat, and let sit for 12 minutes for large eggs (9 for small).
  2. Crack egg shells and carefully peel under cool running water, dry.
  3. Slice the eggs in half lengthwise, removing yolks and placing them in 3 small bowls (4 yolks per bowl).
  4. To one bowl, mash yolks with avocado, stir in cilantro and lemon juice; season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. To another bowl, mash yolks with 2 tbsp mayonnaise and pesto.
  6. To another bowl, mash yolks with  2 tbsp mayonnaise, chipotle, and 1 tbsp bacon.
  7. Pipe the yolk mixture into the egg whites.

Cooking for Large Groups

Cooking for a group larger than normal can lead to challenges in cooking and cooling, as well as other food safety mistakes.

Quick Tips to Follow

  • Clean and sanitize utensils and work surfaces frequently.
  • Use a tip-sensitive digital thermometer to monitor temperature.
  • Keep hot foods hot (at or above 135 degrees Fahrenheit) and cold foods cold (at or below 41 degrees Fahrenheit).
  •  Refrigerate leftovers at 41 degrees or below within 4 hours.
  • If you are preparing dishes ahead of time: foods immediately refrigerated in the dish used for cooking will not cool fast enough because the dish will remain hot. Instead cool food quickly by putting it in separate, shallow containers and stirring frequently.
  • Tightly wrap cooled foods to prevent contamination.

If you need any assistance please reach out to Sarah Sowders at Sarah_Sowders@ncsu.edu or at (252) 426-5428.

N.C. Cooperative Extension is an equal opportunity provider.