Enjoying Easter eggs after Easter
While researching the longevity of a leftover hard-boiled egg, I discovered some very fascinating facts. This can be interesting news because a week after Easter many people may be in a quandary over the safety of the colored eggs still in the refrigerator.
By the way, the fresher a hard-cooked egg is when it is cooked, the harder it may be to peel. The older the egg when it was cooked, the easier the peeling is removed.
Those colored hard-cooked orbs that decorated the Easter baskets are still considered safe if they were kept out of refrigeration at room temperature for no more than two hours. Some people leave them out all day and consume them without any problems, but that practice is questionable.
Yes, there are stories of people leaving Easter eggs on the counter for days without adverse affects. People even brag about having an iron stomach. Those at highest risk of a foodborne illness are the very young and the very old. Toddlers and the elderly do not have the strong immune system of a healthy adult.
If there are any eggs found in the garden or under the couch following the Easter egg hunt, throw them away. Eating them even if they were immediately chilled after locating them can increase the risk of salmonella contamination. The symptoms of this foodborne illness include fever, abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, chills, headache, muscle pains and bloody stools. Even though these conditions are not life threatening, they can cause dehydration, especially in the young and elderly. Don’t take a chance with hard-cooked eggs not kept at safe temperatures.
Usually refrigerated hard-boiled eggs are safe to eat for a week after cooking them, no matter what color they were dyed on the outside. Fresh eggs have a much longer shelf life. Once they are hard-cooked, seven days not only allows for maximum food safety but also optimal nutrient value.
Hard-cooked eggs are more susceptible to spoilage than uncooked eggs because the cooking process removes a naturally occurring waxy protective layer from the shell. When eggs are boiled the melting of this layer leaves the pores in the shells open for bacteria to enter and contaminate the eggs more easily.
For the same reason, do not eat cracked hard-cooked eggs. The risk for illness increases and if a cracked hard-cooked egg is combined with others that were not cracked, they can all become contaminated.
Many people think that a green ring around the yellow yolk of a hard-cooked eggs means that it is spoiled. On the contrary, that usually means the egg was overcooked and the green color is a reaction of naturally occurring sulfur and iron in the egg to react on the yolk’s surface. Sometimes the green color can be traced to a high level of iron in the water used to boil the eggs. Although they may look unappetizing, green eggs are safe to eat.
A large egg has about 70 calories and is an excellent source of protein, with about 6 grams per egg. There are approximately 5 grams of fat in an egg, with 3.5 of them unsaturated, and they are all contained in the yolk. Enjoy hard-cooked eggs.
Bobbie Randall is a certified diabetes educator, and a registered, licensed dietitian. She supervises a diabetes self-management training program at Aultman-Orrville Hospital, Orrville. Contact her at email@example.com or 330–684-4776.