While some might say the best part about Easter is the chocolate bunnies, others are fond of the long-held tradition of dyeing eggs. After all, the pretty pastel colors and Easter egg designs make for both a beautiful holiday decoration and a festive basket stuffer! But have you ever wondered, “Can you eat dyed eggs?” Well, the answer isn’t exactly as simple as you might think. On the one hand, Easter eggs are made from edible hard-boiled eggs; on the other hand, they’re decorated with dyes and other crafty materials. So how do you know if your Easter eggs are safe to eat? Read on to find out more!

There’s a lot that goes into your Easter eggs—from picking out the best egg dye kits to properly cooking the eggs to finding the perfect hiding spot. So it’s no surprise that you don’t want to waste all that effort without even getting to eat the eggs in the end. What would be the point?! If eating Easter eggs is your goal, it’s important to note that you’ll need to properly cook and prepare your eggs to avoid any kind of bacteria or contamination. You’ll also need to keep your eggs refrigerated according to FDA egg safety regulations. More on that and other safety tips ahead.

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Tips for Eating Dyed Eggs

Use Fresh Eggs

Just because you’re decorating the eggs doesn’t mean you should use the carton that’s been sitting in the back of your fridge for weeks. Instead, opt for fresh eggs or test your eggs using the egg float water test.

Prepare Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs

Hard-boiling your eggs properly will not only ensure they’re safe to eat, but it’ll also mean they actually tastes good. If you’re new to cooking eggs, there are plenty of egg gadgets to help make the process easier. And don’t forget to avoid any cracked eggs (you can still decorate those for fun, but they shouldn’t be eaten in case of contamination).

Use the Right Dyes

Not all egg dyes are the same—some are purely decorative while others made with food-safe coloring. If you plan to eat the eggs, stay away from any chemical dyes, paints, or other egg designs using un-natural techniques. Instead, opt for dyes made with food coloring or natural dyes made from fruits and vegetables. What about eggs dyed with vinegar? Vinegar is often used to help the dye adhere to the eggshell. As long as the dye you use is food-safe, you can still eat the eggs if vinegar is applied.

Store the Eggs Properly

One of the most important things when it comes to Easter eggs is making sure you refrigerate them. Oftentimes, the decorated eggs will go for hours hidden in the backyard or on display on your holiday table. But this often the cause for foodborne illnesses, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “Never leave cooked eggs or egg dishes out of the refrigerator for more than two hours or for more than one hour when temperatures are above 90°,” the FDA says. After the holiday, if you’re wondering how long hard-boiled eggs last, here’s the deal: if you’ve stored the eggs properly, your Easter eggs should last up to one week in the refrigerator.

So, You’ve Dyed Your Eggs… Now What?

Egg Refrigerator Storage Container

To get to the bottom of the question at hand: Can you eat dyed eggs? The answer is yes, but only if you’ve followed the steps above for safely dyeing eggs! Enjoy them with a touch of sea salt or turn them into egg salad sandwiches. Another fun idea is to use naturally dyed eggs to make this classic Easter bread! They’re baked right in for a tasty addition for Easter brunch. Of course, if your eggs have been compromised at all (if there are cracks in the egg, if chemical food dye was used, or if they’ve been sitting out for a long period of time), don’t eat the eggs! Instead, use them as decoration for your Easter table centerpiece.

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