Along with summer vacations and celebrations, come warm temperatures, which can enable bacteria growth on many types of foods, including eggs. Whether you’re throwing a barbeque, going camping or having a picnic, you should always follow safe handling practices to avoid food-borne illness during your outdoor celebrations.
Make sure that refrigerators or coolers are suitable for keeping the entire quantity of cold foods well chilled at all times, including any raw eggs or egg mixtures.
Break eggs out of their shells on the day of the barbecue. Immediately return any unused raw eggs or egg mixtures to the refrigerator. For convenience, consider purchasing pasteurized liquid egg products which can be poured out as needed.
After eggs are refrigerated, it is important that they stay that way. A cold egg left out at room temperature can sweat, facilitating the growth of bacteria. Discard all eggs, egg mixtures or cooked egg dishes that have been out of refrigeration for more than two hours (30 minutes to one hour if the temperature is 85° F or higher).
If you carry raw or hard-boiled eggs on picnics and daytrips, leave them in their shells. Pack them along with deviled eggs, potato salad and other cold dishes in an insulated bag or cooler with enough ice or freezer packs. Make sure to keep the cooler in the shade and open it as little as possible to help keep these foods at 40° F or lower.
Buy dried eggs and reconstitute them with distilled water if you plan to go camping or hiking where refrigeration amenities aren’t available. The reconstituted powder whips like fresh egg whites and since it is pasteurized, can be used safely without cooking or baking.