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Use caution with Easter eggs

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April 14, 2006

Hahira - Ready, set, and they're off!  There's no stopping these Hahira Elementary kindergartners when it comes to finding the most Easter eggs.  "I found 10 eggs," said Palmer Henderson. 

But this year, they're not hunting the real thing. "It's for safety reasons," said Molly Bennett, Teacher.

Some kids may be allergic to eggs and they aren't always prepared properly, so to stay on the safe side, they're opting to hunt plastic ones. Dietary Manager Jim Reagan says its a choice many South Georgians are making, but with a little extra caution, real eggs are completely safe. That safety starts at the grocery store. "You're looking for eggs that are in the carton, not cracked and not dirty," said Reagan.

Make sure you cook the egg completely, boiling it then letting it sit covered for at least 15 minutes. "You need your layer of eggs, one inch of water above the eggs, a little vinegar also helps the dye to stick," said Reagan.

After the eggs are cooked and dyed comes the fun part, hiding them. But remember, eggs have a porous shell and bacteria can seep through it, so be careful where you put them. "You don't want to hide them in an area where its dirty, pets have been, or there's pesticides or chemicals on the lawn," said Reagan. 

After all the eggs are found, make sure you don't eat any that have been out in the sun more than two hours. "Eggs are treated as a dairy product, like fish and cheese, they can easily attract bacteria," said Reagan.

Take those few extra steps to make sure they're prepared and stored properly, and you can enjoy the real thing with no worries. But as for these kids, plastic is just fine by them.  "We like this kind because they're full of candy!" said Henderson.