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Practices -- Cooking

Can I safely steam oysters that were harvested 48 days ago?

Rating: 100

No. They are not safe to steam. Oysters that are in their shell, which I am assuming these are, have a shelf life of about 1-2 weeks. Also, the oysters must be alive (shells open) in order to be safe for cooking. Oysters decompose very rapidly after dying and so will have high bacterial loads. These loads could be high enough to cause diarrhea and even foodborne illness.

PREPARED BY: Angela M. Fraser, Ph.D., Associate Professor/Food Safety Specialist, NC State University in July 2004

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