The Ohio Poultry Association (OPA) is sharing food safety tips to help consumers stay safe and healthy this Fourth of July holiday. Although Ohio egg farmers work hard every day to ensure the eggs they produce are safe and of the highest quality, eggs are perishable and need to be handled properly, especially when being served outdoors on hot, summer days.
“As consumers are planning cookouts and gatherings this summer, it is important to follow proper food handling and preparation exercises to keep families healthy,” said Jim Chakeres, OPA executive vice president. “Simple food safety practices can greatly reduce the risk of food-borne illnesses for Ohioans.”
Ohioans can stay safe this Fourth of July by following a half-dozen food safety tips:
– Pack moist towelettes or use soap and water to clean hands, utensils and surfaces before and after eating.
– Transport coolers in the backseat of an air-conditioned car rather than placing in a warm trunk to keep eggs and other foods at their optimum temperature.
– Ohio is hot in July, and eggs sweat too. Eggs should not be left out of the refrigerator or exposed at room temperature for more than two hours. Because cold temperatures prevent bacteria growth, keep eggs cool during outdoor cookouts by using ice or freezer packs in coolers.
– Egg dishes that are meant to be served cold should be packed in an insulated bag or cooler and kept at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or cooler. This can be achieved by keeping coolers in the shade and opened as infrequently as possible.
– Cooked egg dishes should be kept in thermal containers and kept at a temperature of 140 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
– If party-goers are bringing hard-boiled eggs, they should be left in their shells and kept cold in a cooler. Hard-boiled eggs are safe to eat when left in their shells for up to one week, but once peeled, they must be eaten that day.
Ohio egg farmers are proud to provide healthy, safe, affordable eggs to Ohioans and nationwide. As one of the largest egg farming states in the nation, Ohio produces more than 9.5 billion eggs annually.
For more information and nutritious egg recipes, visit www.ohioeggs.com.