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Summer is the time to hop in the car for road trips and family visits.  Packing nutritious snacks, like protein-packed hard boiled eggs, will make the trip easier. Taking perishable foods on summer trips requires extra care to ensure the snacks stay cold.  To fully enjoy your summer travels, follow these food safety tips.

1) Use a clean, well-insulated cooler and add plenty of ice, ice packs, frozen bottled water, or frozen food. Cooked eggs and other perishable foods need to be kept below 40°F. Bacteria can quickly grow at the temperature danger zone between 40°F and 140°F. Food left in the danger zone for more than two hours should be discarded.

2) Packing a cooler correctly is also important. Always take perishable foods directly from the refrigerator or freezer – don’t leave them on the counter while organizing the cooler.

3) Use a second cooler for uncooked meat and poultry to protect other perishables from cross-contamination. Store raw meat and poultry in re-sealable storage bags or disposable containers with lids to keep juices from contaminating food, utensils and surfaces.

3) Add extra ice to the cooler each time food is removed and keep the cooler out of direct sunlight. Since you will likely open the cooler with drinks more often, try to pack them in a separate cooler so the temperature of the perishable foods does not fluctuate or reach the danger zone.

4) Store the cooler in the air-conditioned passenger compartment of the car.

Have fun and safe travels! For more egg safety tips follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Safe Summer Travels appeared first on Egg Safety Center.

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From the farm to the grocery store, careful handling of eggs ensures their quality and safety. Once in your grocery bag, it is important to follow these tips to keep eggs stay safe for your family to eat and enjoy.

Once home, refrigerate eggs immediately. Store eggs in the coldest part of the refrigerator, not in the door.  Eggs should not be out of the refrigerator for more than two hours.

Keep eggs in their original carton to easily check the Julian and sell-by dates.

Before and after handling eggs, wash hands, utensils and surfaces with warm, soapy water. There is no need to wash the eggs you purchase at the grocery store before using them.

If an egg crack in the carton, break into a clean container, cover tightly, keep refrigerated and use within two days.

Discard shells after use; keep them out of the carton with eggs.

Separate foods like raw meat, seafood and poultry to prevent cross-contamination.

Cook eggs thoroughly because adequate cooking destroys bacteria. Cook until both the egg whites and yolk are firm.

For more egg safety tips follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Keeping eggs safe from store to plate appeared first on Egg Safety Center.

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Grading of eggs is just one of the many steps that egg farmers take to ensure the safety and quality of eggs. The  USDA grade shield shows the eggs were graded for quality and checked for weight under the supervision of a USDA grader. Here is more information about each grade:

USDA Grade AA

Egg white is thick and firm

Yolks are high, round and practically free from defects

Clean, unbroken shells

USDA Grade A

Whites are reasonably firm

Yolks are high, round and practically free from defects

Clean, unbroken shells

USDA Grade B

Whites may be thinner

Yolks may be wider and flatter

Shells unbroken, but may show slight stains

Usually used in liquid, frozen & dried products

USDA grading is voluntary for egg farms, and those that choose to have their eggs graded pay for this service. Egg companies that do not use USDA’s grading service are monitored by state agencies, and their carton will bear a term such as “Grade A” without the USDA shield.

In addition to grading, USDA also monitors compliance for weight and size class, based on the weight of a dozen eggs. State agencies monitor compliance for egg packers who do not voluntarily use USDA’s grading service.

When selecting eggs at the store, look for the USDA grade shield as a standard for egg quality, and follow these other tips. To keep up to date on egg safety, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

The USDA Grade on Egg Cartons: What Does It Mean? appeared first on Egg Safety Center.

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Whether your Easter plans include bunnies hopping down the trail, baskets, bonnets or candy, chances are eggs may have a role. Coloring, hiding and eventually eating Easter eggs has been a long-held tradition for many families. For the happiest of Easter memories, follow these safety tips as the Easter season approaches.

First, wash your hands and your working area thoroughly. Remember cleanliness at every step including cooking, cooling, and dyeing of eggs.

It is important to refrigerate hard-boiled eggs if you won’t be coloring them right after cooking and cooling. Color only eggs with no cracks. If any eggs crack during dyeing or while on display, discard them along with any eggs that have been out of refrigeration for more than two hours.

If hard-boiled eggs are kept out of the refrigerator for over two hours, for decoration or hiding, discard the eggs immediately after use.  When shell eggs are hard-boiled, the protective coating is washed away, leaving the pores in the shell open for bacteria to enter. This is why hard-boiled eggs spoil faster than fresh eggs.

Hard-boiled eggs should be refrigerated within two hours of cooking and used within one week.

If you want to keep your decorated eggs on display for a bit longer, try emptying them and decorating blown out eggs.

If you hide eggs, avoid areas where the eggs might come into contact with dirt, pets, wild animals, birds, reptiles, insects or lawn chemicals.

To keep your Easter happy and safe follow these tips. But egg safety doesn’t end at Easter!  Learn more egg safety tips at Egg Safety Center’s frequently asked questions and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Tips for Safe Handling, Dyeing and Eating Easter Eggs appeared first on Egg Safety Center.

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Have you resolved to eat healthier and exercise in 2019?  Eggs, packed with 6 grams of protein and 13 essential vitamins and minerals can help you meet your goal!

Eggs help refuel muscles and are the optimal food for post-workout recovery.   They are also an excellent sources of choline, which promotes normal cell activity, liver function and the transportation of nutrients throughout the body  Choline is also a key in the development of infant’s memory function. For more information on the nutritional attributes of eggs, visit the Egg Nutrition Center.

When using eggs, make sure you store them in the coldest part of the refrigerator and wash your hands, cooking surfaces and utensils before and after handling eggs. To find more recipes and ideas for healthy egg dishes visit the Egg Nutrition Center.

For more tips on egg safety, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

New Year, New You! appeared first on Egg Safety Center.

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It’s that time of year.  Deck the halls, don gay apparel, light the yule log and bake your favorite cookies, breads, and desserts to share with family and friends!

Keep “Tis the Season to be Jolly” in this busy time.  Check out these ten tips to make wonderful treats and have time to enjoy the holidays!

  1. Plan to make an extra batch and freeze the finished product. You’ll be glad you did!
  2. Buy large eggs which are generally the standard in recipes.
  3. Start by getting out all the ingredients you will need. Measure out flour, sugar, oats and other similar ingredients in advance.
  4. Note items like eggs and butter that should be at room temperature. Cold ingredients often don’t mix properly causing dense or hard baked goods.
  5. Take your eggs out of the refrigerator and place on the countertop 30 minutes to safely bring them to room temperature. Or, place eggs in a bowl of warm (not hot) water and cover for about five minutes.
  6. Cold eggs are easier to separate. If your recipe calls for whites and yolks, separate them right after taking the eggs out of the refrigerator and let the whites and yolks sit (covered) in small bowls for 30 minutes.
  7. Egg products can save time in a recipe calling for several eggs or egg whites.
  8. Don’t forget the salt to bring out the flavors in baked goods.
  9. Be sure not to overmix the batter once the dry ingredients are added.
  10. Plan on giving baked goods as gifts, along with the recipe. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to see egg safety tips all year round.

‘Tis the Season to be Baking appeared first on Egg Safety Center.

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Leftovers are the best part of traditional holiday meals!   However, if not properly stored and reheated, all those little tubs filled with food just begging for a spoon to be dipped into them could pose a risk.

To avoid contracting a foodborne illness, remember the two-hour rule.  Any food that has been left out for more than two hours, not at its proper holding temperature (140°F for hot foods like soups, dips, or sauces or 40°F or below for cold foods like deviled eggs) should not be part of your leftover feast.  Despite all the hard work or the great taste of the dish, discard these items immediately.

Also, it’s important to know how long you can safely keep leftovers in the fridge. If you aren’t planning on eating the food in three to four days, split the dishes into smaller containers and freeze.  You can easily prevent leaving foods in the refrigerator too long by dating containers with a marker and masking tape. Also, make sure you leave room for air to circulate so all items are held at a consistent temperature.

Whether using an oven, stovetop or microwave to reheat your leftovers, it is important that the dish heats up evenly to a temperature of 165°F as measured with a food thermometer. Sauces, soups and gravies should be reheated by bringing them to a boil. When microwaving leftovers, make sure there are no cold spots in food – these are places where bacteria can survive – by stirring and rotating foods for even cooking.

Any reheated, uneaten leftovers should always be discarded so heat only what you can eat the second time around.

Holiday Leftovers 101 appeared first on Egg Safety Center.

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World Egg Day is October 12 and this year’s focus is on the crucial role that eggs play throughout our lives as an excellent source of the highest quality protein, vitamins, and minerals.

Before Birth

Proteins are the building blocks of life and it’s never too soon to benefit from the positive power of eggs. Full of essential nutrients, eggs contribute to healthy fetal development. This is an important message to convey to prospective parents to ensure each unborn child has the very best possible start in life – no matter where they are, or into what circumstances they are born.

Child’s Play

A high-quality source of protein is vital, particularly in childhood. Every cell in the human body contains protein which we need in our diets to generate new cells. Packed full of goodness, eggs provide a complete food solution that supports healthy brain development in young children and improves concentration levels at school.

Working Hard

Into adulthood, eggs remain an essential dietary partner. Not only do eggs build protein and repair tissue, they are also essential for making enzymes and hormones. Having an egg-rich diet can also help you stay feeling fuller for longer and be an important ally in effective weight management.

Healthier for Longer

Essential for bones, muscles, cartilage, skin, and blood, egg protein helps to repair body tissue as we grow older. During the later years, eggs continue to deliver substantial benefits and older people can significantly improve their health by increasing their egg consumption.

Eggs are an affordable source of high-quality protein, with the potential to feed the world. Plan on enjoying eggs with your family on World Egg Day and every day.  Check out these delicious World Egg Day recipes from Incredible EggClick here to learn more about the safe handling and cooking of eggs.

For important egg safety tips, follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Celebrate World Egg Day – Excellent Protein for Every Stage of Life appeared first on Egg Safety Center.

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