Can You Dye Easter Eggs and Eat Them Too?

In many cultures around the world, the egg is a symbol of new life and rebirth. Easter eggs, in particular, are dyed red to represent the beliefs and symbolisms of the Christian Church. Though not everyone is religious, almost everyone celebrates Easter. In fact, dyeing eggs have become an annual tradition enjoyed by children and adults alike. The question is, how safe are they to eat?

If you don’t handle eggs with care, this holiday ritual may impact the health of you and your children. Egg safety is serious business, with 142,000 people getting sick each year after eating eggs contaminated with salmonella, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Handling eggs is far from rocket science, but it is possible to prepare them incorrectly. Here are three helpful tips to ensure that your Easter eggs are safe for consumption:

1.Use homemade dyes

Dyeing Easter eggs is best enjoyed with kids. Thus, it’s important to make sure that they are handling FDA-approved food coloring additives that are carefully assessed and deemed safe for consumption. However, if you prefer not use commercial dyes on your eggs, there are several ways to make your own with produce such as beets, red cabbage, and red onion — all of which secrete a vibrant hue of red or purple.

To create homemade food coloring, use a food processor to blend your vegetable of choice with water until smooth. Using a fine-mesh sieve and strain the skins from the mix. You may store the mixture in an airtight container for up to two weeks in the refrigerator.

2.Buy quality and USDA-marked eggs

Sometimes, we forget to check the expiration date on items we buy at the grocery store. When it comes to eggs, always look for the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) mark of inspection and establishment to guarantee its quality and expiry. It is also best to make a stern habit of checking for cracks or chips since bacteria can easily pass through openings in the shell and contaminate the egg.

3.Cook the eggs thoroughly

If you are planning to serve dyed deviled eggs at your Easter feast, it’s important to cook your eggs until the whites and yolks are firm. The American Egg Board recommends boiling eggs by submerging them in cold water and heating over high until the water boils. Then, take the pan off the stove and allow the eggs to sit in hot water for 12 minutes.

If an egg cracks or chips during the boiling process, it is still safe to eat. However, you should not dye them since the extra handling can result in attracting more bacteria.

Conclusion

Can you dye Easter eggs and eat them, too? Absolutely! As long as you practice proper handling, you should have nothing to worry about. Just remember that eggshells are porous, which allows bacteria to penetrate with ease. Keep fresh eggs refrigerated until it’s time to cook them, and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before the cooking, cooling, dyeing, and hiding process.

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