Five questions: Hunting safety
Q: What Easter egg hunting risks are there when using real eggs?
A: When shell eggs are hard-cooked, the protective coating is washed away, leaving open pores in the shell where harmful bacteria could enter. Salmonella is most often the concern when dealing with eggs.
Q: What are some ways people can avoid some of those risks?
A: To decrease the risk of salmonella, cook eggs properly and keep hands clean so as to not cross-contaminate other foods. Make sure the eggs aren’t broken because cracked eggs could be contaminated. Properly cook the eggs and refrigerate promptly after eggs have cooled in ice-cold water.
Q: What types of areas should be avoided when hiding Easter eggs?
A: Choose your hiding places carefully. Avoid areas where the eggs might come into contact with dirt, pets, wild animal, birds, reptiles or lawn chemicals.
Q: Is it OK to eat the eggs that were found during an Easter egg hunt or eat eggs that have been dyed?
A: Yes, as long as the total time outside of refrigeration temperatures has not exceeded two hours, the eggs are intact (and there are no obvious cracks) in which bacteria could penetrate and as long as they were not hidden in the areas mentioned above.
Q: Are there any ways to color eggs naturally without using dyes?
A: This list of color sources is provided by the American Egg Board, which recommends adding one tablespoon of white vinegar for each cup of water:
Pink — fresh beets, cranberries, radishes or frozen raspberries
Orange — yellow onion skins
Light yellow — orange or lemon peels, carrot tops, celery seed or ground cumin
Yellow — ground tumeric
Green — spinach leaves
Green/gold — yellow delicious apple peels
Blue — canned blueberries or red cabbage leaves
Brown — strong brewed coffee
Brown/gold — dill seeds
Brown/orange — chili powder
Grey — purple or red grape juice or beet juice