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Easter is a reminder that eggs need to be handled safely

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Egg consumption increases during the Easter holiday season, which is all the more reason for consumers to handle eggs with care:

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It’s the season for Easter egg hunts, but egg food safety should be a concern year round. Sarah Schwab of the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety Program says that eggs are a perishable food that may carry pathogens:

SCHWAB:  “Cold storage in your refrigerator needs to be held at 41 degrees or less, and then when cooking thoroughly, you need to cook them until they are hard eggs.”  :09

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The modern day egg industry uses automated systems that actually make the egg safer prior to purchase. But then it’s up to the consumer to get eggs into refrigeration and to prepare them properly:

SCHWAB:  “Again, cook thoroughly and there are those safe handling instructions, just like any raw meat products has some safe handling instructions, so do the egg cartons. So you need to be sure and cook them thoroughly.”  :10

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Hard cooked eggs are popular during Easter, but should not be out of refrigeration for more than a couple of hours and should be consumed within the week. And those Easter egg hunts in the back yard? Use plastic eggs instead of the real thing. In Salem, I’m Bruce Pokarney.

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SCHWAB says handling eggs properly should be something for the entire year, not just during Easter:

“They are a hazardous food. It is an animal product just like any other meat product that you would have. There are those hazards and bacteria and so forth you need to be concerned about. We need to cook it thoroughly to ensure it is safe.”  :12

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SCHWAB says it may be a lot of fun for kids and the family to dye real eggs for Easter, but don’t forget they are a hazardous food:

“This is a food item. You are using it for a craft project so there’s just another potential for vulnerability or hazard being that it’s a food. So we want to make sure it’s not out of refrigeration temperature for too long. An hour, two hours at the most.”  :16

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