Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start preparing for Easter and Passover celebrations! With so much delicious food to enjoy during these holidays, you want to make sure to remember food safety so that you can enjoy every moment of it including the leftovers.
Whether you’re cooking at home or in the food service industry, here are some safety tips for Easter and Passover to keep in mind.
Eggs are a staple of many Easter and Passover dishes, from hard-boiled eggs to deviled eggs and matzo ball soup. But eggs can also carry harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella. To reduce the risk of illness, follow these egg safety tips:
- Choose eggs carefully: When buying eggs, make sure they are clean, uncracked, and properly refrigerated. Look for eggs with the USDA grade shield on the carton, which indicates that they have been inspected for quality and safety.
- Cook eggs thoroughly: Eggs that will be held for hot service should be cooked to an internal temperature of 155°F (68°C) for 15 seconds, while eggs that will be served immediately should be cooked to an internal temperature of 155°F (68°C) for 15 seconds. Cooking eggs thoroughly will kill any harmful bacteria. Make sure that egg dishes, such as quiches or custards, are cooked until they are set and firm.
- Avoid cross-contamination: When handling eggs, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly before and after. Use separate utensils and cutting boards for eggs and other foods, and be sure to clean them with hot, soapy water.
- Store eggs properly: Eggs should be stored in the refrigerator at a temperature of 40°F (4°C) or below. If you’re transporting eggs, make sure to keep them in a cooler with ice packs.
From a food service industry perspective, it’s crucial to implement proper food safety procedures in the kitchen. This includes training staff on egg safety, storing eggs in a designated area in the refrigerator, and regularly sanitizing equipment and surfaces that come into contact with eggs.
Other Food Safety Tips
In addition to egg safety, there are other food safety tips to keep in mind during Easter and Passover celebrations. Here are a few to consider:
- Keep hot foods hot and cold foods cold: Bacteria can grow rapidly in the temperature danger zone between 41°F (5°C) and 135°F (57°C). Make sure to keep hot foods hot (135°F or 57°C or higher) and cold foods cold (41°F or 5°C or lower).
- Wash produce thoroughly: Fruits and vegetables can also carry harmful bacteria, so make sure to wash them thoroughly before eating or cooking. Use a produce brush to scrub firm produce, such as potatoes or apples.
- Use separate cutting boards: Use separate cutting boards for raw meats and produce to avoid cross-contamination. Make sure to wash cutting boards with hot, soapy water after each use.
- Practice good hygiene: Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
Enjoy the Holiday Season
Keep Easter and Passover celebrations fun and free of any foodborne illnesses with these safety tips, and if you work in the food service industry, make certain to train staff on proper food safety procedures and regularly sanitize equipment and surfaces. By following these tips, we can ensure that our celebrations are safe and healthy for everyone. Happy Easter and Passover!
TSC Associates provides ServSafe training programs for food handling, food managers, and alcohol service that will make certain that you and your staff know how to safely handle everything that’s needed to provide a good Easter and Passover service. Reach out to us today if you have any questions about our training programs.