Are Eggs with Blood Spots Safe to Eat?

published Nov 6, 2015
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(Image credit: Melissa Ryan)

From the, “Seriously gross, but I gotta know,” category of cooking questions, we have: Is that weird reddish splotch really … blood? Is my egg safe to eat? How did that get in there anyway?

Let’s put some of these worries to rest. Here’s what the blood spot is all about.

Why Is There a Blood Spot?

Yes, a blood spot is indeed a spot of blood. But it’s not the result of a bad egg or even an indication of a fertilized egg — it’s the result of a burst capillary in the hen’s ovary or in the yolk sac. This can be caused by many things, including the age of the hen and her diet, but it’s not a sign that the hen is unhealthy or has been mistreated in any way. In short: Blood spots are unsightly, but they’re also normal.

How Common Are Blood Spots?

It’s also rare for us to get an egg with a blood spot. All commercial eggs are scanned and sorted by “candling,” which involves shining a light through the shell to spot defects. Most eggs with blood spots are sorted out by this process, but a few get through. If you have your own chickens or buy eggs from a farm, you may get a few with blood spots from time to time.

What Should You Do If an Egg Has a Blood Spot?

Blood spots don’t mean you have to toss the egg, though. The American Egg Board says that these eggs are completely safe to eat. If the blood spot bothers you, scoop it out with the tip of a knife and carry on with breakfast.