Eggs with Blood Spots

Are they safe to eat?


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Are Eggs With Blood Spots Safe to Eat?

Whether making an omelet or a stack of pancakes, cracking open an egg and seeing a blood spot is an unwelcome surprise for anyone. Don’t throw out your breakfast just yet. Eggs with blood spots are a natural (but rare) occurrence – and they are totally safe to eat.

What Are Blood Spots In Eggs?

Blood spots are small red or pink spots that are sometimes found on the yolk or egg white. They are quite literally a small amount of blood. They are typically harmless and do not mean that the egg is unsafe to eat. While a blood spot might be unappealing, it doesn’t affect the taste or nutritional value of the egg.

Blood Spots vs Meat Spots

Blood spots are different from meat spots, which are small pieces of tissue or organ material that are also sometimes found in eggs. These spots can vary in size and color, ranging from small specks to larger reddish-brown spots. Meat spots are also considered harmless.

What Causes Blood Spots In Eggs?

Finding blood in an egg yolk can be off-putting, but it’s not necessarily a cause for concern – for you or your hens. An egg blood spot can happen due to a variety of reasons. >Often, blood spots are caused by the rupture of a blood vessel on the yolk’s surface during formation, usually due to fluctuations in a hen’s hormones.  Sometimes, a hen’s reproductive system experiences minor bleeding, leading to a bit of blood entering the egg as it’s formed. In rare cases, nutritional deficiencies or diseases affecting the hen’s reproductive system can lead to blood being present in her eggs.

Blood Spot In Egg White

Finding blood in egg white is less common than in the yolk, but also happens for similar reasons. Just like in the yolk, blood spots can appear in the egg white due to the rupture of blood vessels during the egg formation process.

Blood In Entire Egg

At times, when larger blood vessels rupture, blood can spread throughout the entire egg, giving the egg white a faint pink or red hue. This is more rare, but is still a natural part of the egg-laying process.

While finding blood throughout the entire egg may be alarming, it’s important to note that it doesn’t necessarily mean the egg is unsafe to eat. However, it’s a good idea to inspect the egg closely. If the blood is accompanied by any unusual odors, textures, or colors, it’s best to throw away the egg.

Does A Blood Spot Mean An Egg Is Contaminated?

No, not at all. Eggs with blood spots are safe to eat, they are just not common. When you buy eggs from a supermarket, it’s rare to find ones with blood spots because commercial egg producers inspect eggs before shipping. The eggs go through a process called candling, where a bright light is shone through each egg to spot internal imperfections. Eggs with blood spots are typically identified and removed before they’re packaged and sent to stores.

However, if you get your eggs directly from a local farmer or have your own chicken coop, you might notice blood spots a bit more often. Especially if you prefer brown or blue eggs, simply because they’re harder to spot in candling through their darker shells.

Can I Eat An Egg With A Blood Spot? Is It Safe?

While finding blood in an egg yolk might be less than ideal, it’s generally safe to eat. Simply remove the blood spot with the tip of a knife or fork and toss it out. Then continue cooking with your egg as usual.

The Egg Safety Center and the USDA both state that eggs with blood spots are completely safe to eat as long as they are cooked properly. However, whether they have blood spots or not, eggs are not safe to eat if showing any signs of spoilage:

  • Small cracks in the shell
  • A cloudy, powdery coating
  • Egg whites with a pink or slightly iridescent hue
  • A flattened yolk
  • A bad smell when cracked

Again, if you’re unsure about the safety of an egg, or your eggs show signs of spoilage, throw them away rather than risk food poisoning.

How can you prevent blood spots in eggs?

If your hens are laying eggs with blood spots, you can focus on a few key aspects of hen management to improve the issue. Provide your laying hens a balanced feed designed specifically to meet the needs of laying hens. Star Milling offers a variety of quality feed products for laying hens:

Regularly monitor the health of the flock, promptly addressing any signs of illness or injury to prevent complications. If you consistently find blood in eggs from your hens, consult with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying issues.

Create a low-stress environment for the hens by avoiding overcrowding and maintaining stable temperature and lighting conditions.Always keep nesting boxes, egg-laying areas, and your hens’ overall housing environment clean to reduce the risk of infections or injuries that could lead to blood spot formation.

Explore the Star Milling Poultry Care Corner for information on everything from care, eggs, and chicken breeds to chicks and poultry food.

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