3-19. LOSS EGGS
a. General. The US Standards of Quality define certain eggs as Loss. Loss
eggs are inedible eggs. An egg that is cooked, frozen, contaminated by bacteria or
molds, or that contains foreign material is classified as a Loss egg. More than one loss
condition often occurs in an egg. In such cases, the most serious condition is scored.
Loss eggs are classified into two major categories: Loss, large spots (LS) and Loss,
Other (any loss condition other than large spots).
b. Loss, Large Spots. Large blood spots and large meat spots are classified
as Loss, Large Spots or Loss, LS. Blood spots are caused by intrafollicular bleeding at
the time of ovulation. The blood may adhere to the yolk membrane or be included in the
egg white (albumen). Meat spots are either blood spots that have changed color due to
chemical action or tissue cast off from the reproductive organs of the hen. In contrast to
the yolk, these large spots appear as brilliant red or dark gray when observed before the
candling light. An egg is classified as a Loss, LS when a large spot exceeding 1/8 inch
in size is observed.
c. Loss, Other. Loss eggs other than LS are classified as Loss, Other. A
freshly laid egg is usually free of bacteria or molds on the inside and is well protected
from bacteria by the shell, shell membranes, and several chemical substances in the
egg white. If subjected to warm temperatures or moisture, or both, bacteria are able to
penetrate the egg and overcome the egg's defenses. When bacteria grow inside the
egg, they may form by-products or cause the contents of the egg to decompose, or
both. These conditions result in the characteristic colors, appearance, or odors from
which the rots or molds take their name. Loss Other eggs are described in the listing
that follows. Note that each condition has its own abbreviation.
(1) Stuck yolk. Stuck yolk (SY) occurs when the yolk membrane adheres to
the shell membrane. It generally occurs in older eggs that have been left in a fixed
position for a long time. When the thick white becomes thin, the yolk floats close to the
shell and becomes attached to the shell membrane. Before the candling light, the yolk
appears attached to the shell and snaps back to its attached position when the twirling
motion of the egg is stopped. The point of adherence usually appears as a dark spot,
often resembling an area of mold. If loosened from its position, the yolk membrane
usually breaks, permitting the yolk content to seep into the white. The first stage of this
condition is generally referred to as "seeping yolk;" later "mixed rot" or "addled egg."
(2) White rot. In the early stage, white rot (WR) may be detected by the
presence of threadlike shadows in the thin white. In the late stage, the yolk, when
placed before the candling light, appears severely blemished and is crusted when
broken out. The contents frequently give off a fruity odor. This rot is a type of general
bacterial decomposition, probably caused by heterogeneous flora, but few attempts
have been made to determine the specific organisms responsible. It develops into
mixed rot. Because white rot is similar to yellow rot, inspection personnel often
disagree in classifying this type of Loss egg.