Here’s the situation. You are in the progress of preparing some midnight-craving cookie dough and you go to the fridge to add the two large eggs your recipe called for. To your surprise, you look down in the bowl and see a brown spot in the egg yolk. That’s weird… Is it safe to eat? Is your batch ruined?

brown spot

Photo by Megan Prendergast

This brown spot is actually either a blood spot or a meat spot, but it’s nothing to worry about. Eggs with these spots pose no risk or harm and are perfectly safe to eat. According to the Egg Safety Center, “blood or meat spots are caused by the rupture of a blood vessel on the yolk surface when it’s being formed.” Eggs form yolk first and shell last, so when a blood vessel ruptures the hen’s reproductive tract, it will affect the egg in this way.

brown spot

Photo by Justin Shannin

Producers understand that this kind of blemish can scare off consumers, so eggs go through a process called “candling” where the interior is inspected by holding the egg up to a light source. Most eggs with blood spots will not make it to market because of consumer preference, but that doesn’t mean they’re unsafe to eat.

If you still aren’t so sure about eating the egg, the American Egg Board suggests you use the tip of a knife to remove the spot from the egg. You’ll be left with an egg pretty enough to eat.