Just because Independence Day picnics are over doesn’t mean the picnic season is finished. In fact, it will go well into the fall. And al fresco meals usually include eggs, whether they be in the form of deviled eggs or egg salad or eggs mixed in tuna fish and other mixtures. So, the American Egg Board warns consumers to take a few precautions.
1. Do not keep raw eggs, cooked eggs or egg-containing dishes out of the refrigerator for more than two hours. This includes the time spent preparing, transporting and serving them. When the outdoor temperature is above 85 degrees, do not keep eggs out of refrigeration for more than 30 minutes.
2. Fresh eggs can be stored in their cartons in the refrigerator for four to five weeks beyond the carton’s packing date. Hard-cooked eggs can be safely refrigerated for up to one week.
3. Store raw eggs in the refrigerator below 40 F. Keep them in their cartons on the middle or bottom refrigerator shelf, which is where the refrigerator is coolest.
4. Cook any egg dishes or recipes containing eggs to 160 F and until the yolk and white are both firm.
5. When transporting eggs or products that contain eggs, store them in a cooler with ice or cooling packs.
Those guidelines are easy to follow and should help ensure a safe picnicking season.
And families can feel good about serving summertime egg dishes — not only do they stand out on the table, they are good for you, too. Eggs are all natural and provide high-quality protein that can help keep families feeling satisfied and energized throughout the day. Plus, eggs are easy on the wallet and the waistline — they cost less per serving than other high-quality protein foods at around 17 cents per egg (2), and they are just 70 calories apiece.