September 25, 2018

Easter Food Safety Tips

Foodsafety.gov is offering tips to keep your Easter ham and eggs safe. Ham and eggs are traditional Easter foods in the United States.

Shell Eggs

When you are cooking ham, make sure you know whether or not the product is fully cooked. Hams that are fully cooked are labeled so. Ham that is not ready to eat but looks like it’s ready to eat will have a statement on the label that it needs cooking before you can consume it.

Fresh, raw, ham, or ham that needs to be cooked first, must reach an internal temperature of 145°F, with a three minute rest time, before it is safe to eat. Make sure that you use a reliable and accurate food thermometer to test the meat. And ham and other meats should be cooked at an oven temperature no lower than 325°F.

Cooked ham and cooked vacuum-packaged ham can be eaten right out of the package. Spiral cooked hams are also safe to eat right away. These hams can be eaten cold as long as they are marked “fully cooked” on the label. You can warm these hams to 145°F if you’d like. Any ham that has been repackaged in any location outside the federally approved processing plant should be heated to a final internal temperature of 165°F before it is served.

If you choose to hard cook and color eggs for Easter, make sure they stay refrigerated. Eggs can be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria on the outside and inside of the eggs. This pathogen will not affect the taste, look, texture, or smell of the egg.

To safely enjoy eggs, always store them in the fridge. Discard any eggs that are cracked or dirty. Be sure to wash your hands and surfaces with soap and water after any contact with raw eggs.

Always cook eggs until both the yolks and whites are firm. Lightly cooked egg whites and yolks have both caused Salmonella outbreaks. Recipes containing eggs should be cooked to 160°F.

Always eat eggs promptly. Don’t keep them at room temperature for more than two hours. Never eat hard cooked eggs that are used for an Easter egg hunt or decorations if they have been out of refrigerator longer than two hours. Be safe and throw them away.

Have a safe and happy Easter. Your dinner will be wonderful as long as you follow food safety rules.

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