Safety Tips for Easter Eggs

  • Wash hands with warm water and soap before and after handling the eggs
  • Use a food-safe coloring if eggs will be eaten.
  • Handle eggs carefully to prevent cracking. If the shells crack, bacteria could contaminate the inside. Do not use cracked eggs for hiding.
  • After hard-cooking eggs, dye them and return them to the refrigerator immediately until ready to eat or to hide.
  • Hide eggs in places protected from dirt, pets and other sources of bacteria. Consider using plastic eggs for hiding.
  • The total time for hiding and hunting eggs should not exceed two hours. Discard any Easter eggs that have been cracked. The uncracked “found” eggs should then be refrigerated until eaten.
  • Eat hard-cooked eggs within one week.

For more tips on handling eggs and information on making Ukranian Easter eggs, see HGIC 3507, Safe Handling of Eggs.

For information on preparing a traditional Easter ham or lamb, or traditional foods for Passover, see Learn to Be Food Safe During Easter and Passover Meals at

For more information, and answers to your food safety questions, S.C. residents may call the Home and Garden Information Center Monday through Friday from 9am to 1pm at 1-888-656-9988. Residents of other states will need to contact their nearest County Extension office, which can be located at

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This information is supplied with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service is implied. All recommendations are for South Carolina conditions and may not apply to other areas. Use pesticides only according to the directions on the label. All recommendations for pesticide use are for South Carolina only and were legal at the time of publication, but the status of registration and use patterns are subject to change by action of state and federal regulatory agencies. Follow all directions, precautions and restrictions that are listed.