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VDACS on how to solve the Easter egg dilemma

A common question this time of year is, is it safe to leave Easter eggs out overnight? The answer is no. Food safety experts at the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (VDACS) say if you plan to eat the eggs after decorating, do not leave them out of refrigeration for more than two hours.

Other tips for food safety with hard-cooked eggs: Refrigerate them at 40° F or colder in the main part of the refrigerator, not the door. Wash your hands thoroughly and make sure children wash theirs before and after handling uncooked shell eggs. After decorating eggs, return them to the refrigerator within two hours. If you have an egg hunt, remember the two-hour rule applies from the time you hide them until you return them to the refrigerator. Eat properly refrigerated hard-cooked eggs within seven days.

When you hide dyed eggs for the kids, be sure the shells are unbroken. If you miss an egg or two during the hunt, definitely throw them out when found.

Fun tip for easy-to-peel eggs: steaming eggs instead of boiling them will produce a product that is much easier to peel. Place a steamer basket in a pot with an inch of water and bring to a boil. Turn off heat, add cold eggs, cover and cook for 12 minutes. Transfer immediately to an ice-water bath to cool them, and post-holiday, the shells will slip right off.

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