Should You Throw Out Eggs With Brown Spots On Them?

When you crack an egg open, sometimes you see something you weren't expecting, like a tiny piece of shell, a double yolk, or a strange dark spot. If you see a shell piece or two, you simply remove them and move on with making your eggs. Easy enough. If you see two yolks, use them both and consider it good luck.

But what about that brown spot? That discovery isn't quite as easy to navigate as shells and twin yolks because of all the questions it raises. What exactly is the spot? Will you get food poisoning if you eat it? Should you remove the spot from the egg or just throw the entire egg away?

If you guessed that the spot was blood, you're correct. These spots can be red or reddish-brown in color, according to Nellie's Free Range, and they can appear on the yolk or egg white. Red, of course, would be a more obvious indicator of blood. These marks form naturally when tiny blood vessels rupture in a hen's ovaries during the egg formation process (via Healthline).

Now back to the burning question: What should you do if you find an egg with a brown spot on it?

Blood spots on eggs are uncommon, but harmless

Although the phrase "bloody egg" is enough to kill an appetite, it's perfectly safe to eat an egg with a blood spot on it. No need to throw it out. Just be sure to cook it properly, whether you'll be eating it directly or using it for baking. You can also simply remove the spot with a knife if it grosses you out.

It's also important to note that if the entire clear liquid portion (egg whites) of the egg has a pink tint, you should throw it out. According to USDA, "pink or pearly egg white indicates spoilage due to Pseudomonas bacteria."

Blood spots on grocery store eggs aren't very common because manufacturers use a bright light that allows them to examine the embryo without removing the shell. Called candling, this process allows them to detect blood spots, cracks, and other imperfections. If the manufacturers find one, they typically throw the egg away, but sometimes, an egg will get missed.

So if you spot a blood spot on an egg, but the yolk and whites otherwise appear normal, you can cook the eggs or use them for baking without any issues. Or, you can remove the spot. Either way, the eggs are safe to consume and do not need to be discarded.