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updated: 3/25/2013 1:54 PM

No cracks in safety with these Easter egg tips

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David Hass

DUPAGE COUNTY--Easter is coming on March 31 and the DuPage County Health Department has safety tips if you are planning to decorate Easter eggs this year.

Here are some tips to keep your family healthy for your Easter egg hunt:

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• Use one set of eggs for decorating and hunting, and another for eating. Or to be really safe, use plastic eggs for your Easter egg hunt instead of real ones.

• Keep everything clean. Wash utensils, countertops and other surfaces that come in contact with eggs. That includes washing your hands thoroughly with soap and hot water before and after handling raw eggs or cooked eggs that will be eaten.

• Coloring Easter eggs can be fun, but if you're planning to eat the eggs you dye, make sure that you only use food-grade dyes.

• Keep hard-boiled eggs intended for eating in the refrigerator until the last possible minute.

• When preparing hard-boiled eggs for an egg hunt, be on the lookout for cracks in the shells. Even tiny cracks can allow bacteria to contaminate the eggs. Eggs that have any cracks should be discarded.

• If you're hiding eggs outside, choose the cleanest hiding places you can, and avoid areas that pets or other animals might visit.

• Keep track of time to ensure that the hiding and hunting time don't exceed a cumulative two hours. And remember, the eggs that are found must be refrigerated right away -- or discarded if the two hour limit is exceeded.

• Nothing lasts forever! Even hard-boiled eggs that have been refrigerated properly must be eaten within seven days of cooking.

For more information on the DuPage County Health Department, follow us on Twitter @DuPageHD or become a fan on Facebook.

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