COLUMBUS, Ohio – Easter is quickly approaching and the holiday is earlier than most years, taking place on Sunday, March 27. Many families have a tradition of using hard-boiled eggs for their egg hunts, egg rolls and other Easter events. Ohio’s egg, chicken and turkey farmers are offering egg safety, handling tips and recipes for this Easter holiday.
“Eggs are the centerpiece of many Ohio families during Easter, especially for families who make hard-boiled eggs for Easter egg hunts and rolls, and Ohioans who purchase Ohio-produced eggs can feel confident the eggs are safe and of the highest quality,” said Jim Chakeres, executive vice president of the Ohio Poultry Association (OPA). “Ohio’s egg farmers make egg safety a top priority and follow proper guidelines to ensure eggs are safe and free from foodborne illnesses.”
According to the American Egg Board, the average household consumed five dozen eggs at Easter in 2014. And because eggs are in a high demand during the Easter holiday, the Ohio egg experts are offering suggestions and tips on how to best enjoy eggs this Easter – from purchasing to handling to eating and storing:
– Consumers can buy a carton of eggs to decorate for Easter a week in advance. In fact, eggs that are seven to 10 days old are easier to peel, making leftover dishes stress-free to prepare.
– After purchasing eggs, they should be stored in a refrigerator at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder until ready to use; note: eggs can be safely stored in the carton in the refrigerator for up to four weeks.
– Consumers can master the best way to hard-boil an egg by watching this cooking video.
– Get inspired by the most unique egg decorating ideas on OPA’s Pinterest page. For example, Ohioans can dye eggs using natural ingredients like yellow onion skins, berries, walnut shells and leaves of plants. Another unique way to decorate Easter eggs is by placing stickers on eggs before dipping them into egg dye and then removing the stickers from the outside of the egg after the dye has dried.
– When hiding decorated hard-boiled eggs, consumers can safely keep them hidden and on display for up to two hours. After that, hard-boiled eggs must be refrigerated so bacteria doesn’t grow.
– If un-cracked and stored in the refrigerator in their shell, hard-boiled eggs can be safely consumed within seven days. But if a hard-boiled egg is unpeeled, it must be eaten that same day.
– Consumers can use leftover hard-boiled Easter eggs in a variety of ways and meals, including Dyed Deviled Eggs, Egg & Potato Casserole, Sweet Southern-Style Egg Salad, Mixed Greens Salad, or can eat them plain.
Easter eggs also have strong nutrition benefits for Ohioans. One large egg is only 70 calories and contains 13 essential nutrients and nine amino acids. Eggs are also an excellent source of choline and selenium, and a good source of high-quality protein, vitamin B12, phosphorus and riboflavin.
Ohio is the second-largest egg farming state in the nation and produces more than 8.7 billion eggs annually.