Is It Safe to Eat Dyed Easter Eggs?

Can you eat dyed eggs? Here are a few things to know before you crack open those pretty jewel-colored gems this Easter.

If you’re anything like me, the best part about dyeing Easter eggs is peeling them open and devouring them whole. But don’t go nibbling on your own colorful, hard-boiled Easter creations just yet—it isn’t always safe to eat dyed Easter eggs. Learning how to cook them, store them and serve them properly are all necessary steps to take before you can safely eat them after your Easter egg decorating. So, can you eat dyed eggs? Read on.

Cook the Eggs Properly

If you plan on eating your decorated Easter eggs, be sure to cook them all the way through to reduce the likelihood of bacteria, like salmonella. (Here are more tips from the FDA’s guidelines on egg safety.) Both the yolk and the white of the egg should be firm after boiling.

Although making hard-boiled eggs may seem like a simple cooking rite of passage, it takes a little more than you think to get them right. Take them out of the pot early and they’ll be too soft and under-cooked. Leave them in too long and the yolk will turn a funky green color. Check out our guide on how to make hard-boiled eggs, which covers cooking eggs on the stovetop and in the oven, slow cooker, air fryer or Instant Pot. Once you master your favorite method, here are some recipes using leftover hard-boiled eggs.

Use a Safe Dye

We know it’s tempting to grab any old paint to decorate eggs. But, those who are interested in eating their painted Easter eggs should opt for either traditional food-safe dye or natural dye instead. This way, no chemicals or harmful substances will seep into the egg or come into contact while you snack.

How to Make Food-Safe Easter Egg Dye

You can dye Easter eggs with food coloring, which is safe to eat. In a glass cup, mix 1/2 cup boiling water, 1 teaspoon white vinegar and drops of food coloring to reach the desired color. Or, learn how to make natural Easter egg dyes from produce.

Don’t Let Them Sit Out for Long

For the best taste, hard-boiled eggs should be eaten right after they’ve been cooked, and dyed Easter eggs that have been hard-boiled are no exception. When you’re decorating, keep an eye on the clock to make sure your eggs have not been left out for more than 2 hours—or for longer than 1 hour if the temperature is above 90°F, since bacteria grows faster in warmer temperatures. Once you’re done, hard-boiled Easter eggs will last up to one week stored in the fridge, according to the American Egg Board.

So, is it safe to eat dyed Easter eggs? Yes…as long as you follow all the cooking, serving and decorating safety precautions.

If you opt for plastic eggs, make these sweet, homemade Easter egg fillers as an alternative to store-bought candy.

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Taylor Murphy
Taylor is a food, parenting and health writer. When she's not writing about the newest Oreo flavor or her favorite kitchen appliance, she can be found searching for her next coffee fix or taste-testing recipes with her daughter.