Easter is just a few days away, and whether you’re hosting a get-together or heading over to the residence of a loved one, it’s important that you keep safety in mind at all times. This holiday poses a couple unique poisoning threats that aren’t necessarily present at other times of the year. Therefore, it’s important to recognize some important precautions as suggested by the New Jersey Poison Information and Education System.
If you’re preparing an Easter dish or a whole host of dishes, cleanliness is key. You need to wash your hands and all cooking surfaces with soap and hot water. Your hands require this treatment before as well as after touching raw food so that foodborne illness doesn’t have a chance to spread. Once a perishable item is set out for others to feast on, you have about two hours before you need to either refrigerate the food anew or toss it out. Any more than that and you risk an illness.
When working with eggs (of the chicken variety, not the Easter candy variety), the same hand washing procedures should be carried out prior to and after preparation. Every time you make contact with the raw interior liquid, wash anew. If the eggs are an ingredient in some type of dessert, you could come across a situation where a family member wants to lick the spoon or mixer. This is only admissible with eggs that have been pasteurized within their shells.
If your children are decorating eggs, make sure they get boiled all the way through before you start. That way, they are safe to both touch and eat. You also need to keep an eye on younger children when they start to dip the eggs in dye. Food dye is the only proper type of coloring for this procedure thanks to its non-toxicity, but you still need to make sure that the child isn’t drinking the dyed water.
Flowers of the season, while pretty, could also be hazardous. The Easter Lily is particularly risky for pets; cats in particular that consume the item could experience a serious poisoning. The Lily of the Valley can also be dangerous, potentially leading a child to suffer heart issues if he or she consumes the plant. Various other spring flowers, such as tulips, can cause various complications when digested, and even just coming into contact with the bulbs can cause skin issues.
Watch out for the signs of foodborne illness on Easter, which could set in as soon as an hour after coming into contact with something like Salmonella. Affected persons are privy to things like vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, and more, and it’s important that you seek prompt medical attention if you suffer such maladies.