April 07, 2023

Play it eggs-tra safe with Easter eggs

Media Contact:
Lisa Cox
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services
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JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Coloring eggs for Easter can be a fun family tradition. Easter eggs are safe if handled properly. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is sharing some safety tips for your Easter egg dyeing fun from coloring through the Easter egg hunt to eating the eggs.

Buying eggs

  • Buy eggs that are in a refrigerated case and are not cracked or broken.
  • Then, get them home quickly and in the refrigerator immediately.

Storing eggs

  • Keep eggs refrigerated at 40°F or cooler until needed.
  • Store the eggs in the cartons they come from the store in to keep them from breaking and from absorbing odors from the other foods in the refrigerator.
  • Keep the egg carton on a middle or lower shelf where the temperature changes less than in the door.

Coloring eggs

  • Only color un-cracked eggs that have been hard cooked or boiled.
  • After hard cooking eggs, dye them and return them to the refrigerator within 2 hours.
  • If you plan to eat the colored eggs, use food coloring or dyes made for food.
  • If an egg would crack while you are coloring it, throw it away.
  • Make sure that the eggs do not stay out of the refrigerator for more than 2 hours (if planning to consume).
  • Wash your hands before and after coloring the eggs.

Easter egg hunts and decorations

  • Do not eat eggs that have been hidden or used as a decoration for more than 2 hours. Throw them away.
  • Place the eggs in the refrigerator immediately after they have been found.
  • As with all foods, those dyeing the eggs should wash their hands before and after handling the eggs.
  • It is recommended to not consume hard cooked eggs that have been lying on the ground because they can pick up bacteria, especially if the shells are cracked. If the shells crack, bacteria could contaminate the inside. Eggs should be hidden in places that are protected from dirt, moisture, pets, and other sources of bacteria. The total time for hiding and hunting eggs should not exceed 2 hours. The "found" eggs must be washed, re-refrigerated and eaten within 7 days of cooking.

For more information on general egg safety visit:




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About the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS): The department seeks to be the leader in protecting health and keeping people safe. More information about DHSS can be found at health.mo.gov or find us on Facebook and Twitter @HealthyLivingMo.