Food Safety for All Holidays
Individuals across the country have fridges and pantries full of leftover festive foods- and are at a higher risk for food poisoning due to this fact. By following a few simple, precautionary guidelines, individuals can enjoy leftover holiday treats without the worry of food poisoning.
The most common food item/ingredient prepared and consumed during the festivities of the Passover and Easter is eggs. A few practical tips such as the following will prevent foodborne illnesses due to eggs.
- Store hard-boiled eggs in the refrigerator up until they are served. Eggs should not sit out for more than 2 hours at room temperature.
- Dishes containing cooked eggs should be cooked to the minimal temperature of 160 degrees Fahrenheit, measured by a food thermometer.
- When coloring Easter eggs, be sure to only use dye that is food-grade.
- Note: Plastic eggs are a practical alternative, as it offers a solution for concern of food poisoning due to spoiled or old eggs.
As the United States Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) has stated:
“Bacteria grow rapidly between the temperatures of 40° F and 140° F. After food is safely cooked, hot food must be kept hot at 140° F or warmer to prevent bacterial growth. Within 2 hours of cooking food or after it is removed from an appliance keeping it warm, leftovers must be refrigerated. Throw away all perishable foods that have been left in room temperature for more than 2 hours (1 hour if the temperature is over 90° F”.
Other delicious dishes, such as platters of deli meats and cheeses, and things like chicken salad, should be kept at least a temperature of 40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower until served, and re-refrigerated quickly after srvice. Discard of any cold dishes that have been left out at room temperature for over 2 hours.
Finally, many people take home “doggie bags” or leftovers form a restaurant. IF these cannot be refrigerated within the 2-hour window, it is safest to discard them.
While leftover foods pose a significant risk for carrying foodborne illnesses, American individuals can still enjoy remaining dishes from Easter and Passover by following the afore mentioned food safety tips.