• Shannon Knight

When an Egg has a Dark or Red Speck.....

One of my favorite customers asked me today about a dark spot on in his egg. I wasn't sure why there would be a dark spot, so I did some research. One of my favorite bloggers, Jill Winger at https://www.theprairiehomestead.com/, put me straight. The following is what she posted:

Those brownish or reddish specks you’ll occasionally find floating in your farm-fresh eggs are deemed "meat spots" or "blood spots". Thankfully, they are not a cause for concern.

You see, eggs destined for the grocery store shelf are “candled” by a machine to check the inside for any defects– this is why you’ll rarely come across a meat spot in a store-bought egg.

Contrary to popular belief, a meat spot in an egg does not mean that it has been fertilized.

It’s actually a little malfunction on the part of the hen.

According to the Egg Safety Center:

[Meat spots or blood spots] are caused by the rupture of a blood vessel on the yolk surface when it’s being formed or by a similar accident in the wall of the oviduct…  Eggs with blood spots and meat spots are fit to eat.

I’m glad they have been deemed “fit to eat,” because although I will sometimes dig out the larger spots, I usually just ignore the smaller ones and scramble them up. *a-hem*

And here is another interesting little tidbit– the presence of visible blood spots can actually mean the egg is fresh. According to the Eggland’s Best website:

As an egg ages, the yolk takes up water from the albumen to dilute the blood spot so, in actuality, a blood spot indicates that the egg is fresh.

Perhaps another reason you don’t often see blood spots in store-bought cartons is because those eggs are usually several weeks old by the time they make it home to your refrigerator.

So next time you crack an egg from your backyard flock and find a little speck floating in the bowl, don’t be alarmed. If you like, you can remove it, or just ignore it.

Enjoy the little irregularities in your homegrown food and allow it to remind you of the valuable work you put into getting it on your table.

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