If You Find A Blood Spot In Your Egg Yolk Is It Still Okay To Eat?

It's natural to do a double-take when you crack an egg and notice something floating in the yolk. In fact, there's an initial ick factor. But do you have to ditch the egg, attempt the difficult task of removing the spot without breaking the yolk, or simply carry on? If you're celebrity chef Guy Fieri, you ditch the egg. According to My Recipes, Fieri is outspoken about his dislike for eggs, revealing with a shudder in 2018 that a blood spot in an egg yolk is a non-starter for him. But aesthetics aside, what causes the occasional red or brown spot in an egg yolk?

According to the USDA, a blood spot in an egg yolk typically happens when a blood vessel in the yolk ruptures during ovulation — not to be confused with fertilization. In other words, you're not about to scramble the genesis of a baby chicken (via MedicineNet). According to Eat or Toss, most egg farms employ a process called candling. During candling, eggs are illuminated with bright lights to highlight any abnormalities inside the shell and weed out imperfections before the eggs hit the market.

But sometimes, a blip will slip through the cracks.

To eat or not to eat?

According to Eat or Toss, there are two common types of blood spots in eggs: The ones you might find in the yolk and the ones you occasionally see floating in the egg white. MedicineNet says both stem from the rupture of small blood vessels that get stuck in the hen's ovaries or oviduct. However, unlike spots in the egg yolk, the little imperfections that end up floating in the egg white indicate the bleeding occurred after the egg discharges from the follicle. Then, when the spot ends up in the egg white, it's known as a meat spot (via Eat or Toss).

Spots of either variety are more commonly found in brown-shelled eggs than in white-shelled eggs. Flock Journey cites data from the National Institutes of Health, which indicates that an average of 18% of brown eggs will contain meats compared to just 0.5% in white eggs. In fact, Flock Journey says discovering a meat spot in an egg is an indicator of freshness. As eggs age, the spots fade, eventually becoming almost invisible to the human eye.

But back to our original question: Is it okay to eat an egg yolk with a blood spot in it? The USDA says yes. And, the same goes for eggs with meat spots, according to the Egg Safety Center.