Pink egg white? Is it edible?
September 2, 2011 5:08 PM   Subscribe

Why is this egg white pinkish/reddish througout? Is it safe to eat?

I already am halfway on a double batch of chocolate chip cookies (in other words, there's a whole bunch of butter and sugar already at stake). I added in an egg without looking at it and the egg white is universally pinkish reddish, still transparent, but definitely strange looking. Googling has been useless: this is more than a blood or meat spot, and the other answers are "no way! that will kill you!". What am I looking at and do I need to start my cookies over? Thanks in advance.
posted by artifarce to Food & Drink (8 answers total)
Response by poster: (It's half mixed up and hard to see now, or else I'd post a pic)
posted by artifarce at 5:08 PM on September 2, 2011

Have you ever eaten anything involving a compromised egg?
Painful stomach cramps, simultaneous diarrhea and vomiting, passing out on the bathroom floor...
All "should I eat this" questions that involve eggs are answered with a resounding NO.
Maybe it's fine -- but jeez, don't mess around when it comes to eggs. Just don't.
posted by pH Indicating Socks at 5:15 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: pH, this is exactly the sort of answer that I considered useless while googling. Most people would be squicked out by blood spots on an egg, yet they're considered no different than a normal egg. Hence I was hoping for an answer from someone who actually knew why an egg would be pinkish, and not just assume it'd be "compromised". Thank you anyway.
posted by artifarce at 5:21 PM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

Best answer: From the USDA website:

"Pink or iridescent egg white (albumen) indicates spoilage due to Pseudomonas bacteria. Some of these microorganisms—which produce a greenish, fluorescent, water-soluble pigment—are harmful to humans."

Hospital bill > cost of butter and eggs.
posted by Marie Mon Dieu at 5:22 PM on September 2, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: For those finding this and curious about Pseudomonas, and to add to the answer (don't worry, the batter was safely thrown away--I was curious as to the cause): Pseudomonas is the most common "spoilage organism". Pathogenic and spoilage organisms generally compete, with spoilage organisms succeeding the pathogenic variety. The "risk" or sign of spoilage would have been the smell or taste of the egg, but it alone wouldn't have caused sickness, especially after being cooked. But it would have made for a gross cookie.

Ironically there don't appear to be signs for a pathogenic egg, except for cracks increasing the risk that it has been infected.

But remember kids, don't try playing with eggs at home unless you're a microbiologist. ;)
posted by artifarce at 6:06 PM on September 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

It's always wise to break open eggs into a bowl or cup for this very reason. :) that way if one is spoiled, all you've lost is some eggs.
posted by royalsong at 6:50 PM on September 2, 2011 [5 favorites]

I am a microbiologist! and if you are near either Olympia, WA or Columbus, OH I totally want your egg. I would love to culture it, biochemically characterize it, and sequence the 16sRNA. In one of the classes that I teach I send students out looking for the most exotic Pseudomonads they can find and use them to teach microbiological techniques.

If it is Pseudo it will probably start to smell pretty bad and turn all sorts of colors, but if you keep the sample in a sealed egg-ish sized container inside a larger tupperware with baking soda, that should keep is safe and non-offensive.
posted by Blasdelb at 11:08 AM on September 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Blasdelb: I am neither near those areas nor do I still have the egg, but your comment was both helpful and amusing. Next time I find a weird egg (after cracking it first in a separate container as royalsong suggests), I am going to save it just like that.
posted by artifarce at 1:41 PM on September 3, 2011

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