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Oyster Care & Handling

Tommaso Shellfish Oysters are shipped alive and like any type of raw shellfish, they are best when consumed fresh. So, to fully appreciate the quality and rich spirit of the waters in which they were harvested, we recommend that you enjoy them as soon as possible (why wait?!)

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Here are some helpful tips to keep your oysters alive

until you are ready to eat them.

 

  • Oysters can remain alive for 7-10 days when stored properly.
     

  • Always keep your oysters cold, but not frozen. Freezing kills oysters. Live oysters should be stored between 34-45 degrees F.
     

  • Direct shell surface contact with dry ice or gel packs can kill them also; place a cloth or other insulating surface between the live oyster and frozen surfaces if prolonged contact is expected.
     

  • Place the oysters on a towel or in a bowl in the fridge with the cupped side on the bottom (so the flat side is on top).  Be sure to cover your oysters with a damp cloth to keep them from drying out.  Re-wet the cloth every few days.
     

  • Never store shellfish in airtight containers, oysters can die from lack of oxygen
    (NO Tupperware, ziplock, or vacuum sealing)

     

  • You can also store them in a cooler covered with ice, but be sure to drain the cooler as the ice melts.  Never store shellfish in standing water!  Oysters should never be submerged in fresh water, sea water, or melted ice.  Keep your cooler as shaded as possible.
     

  • Oysters open their shells slightly to breathe - this is normal and good health. Never eat an oyster that is open or gaping! They should close when tapped. Discard any oysters whose shells do not close tight when tapped. If you hear a hollow sound when tapped, the oyster has lost its liquor and should be discarded. You will know if it is dead because it will make a very distinct hollow sound opposed to the others, these are known as "clackers" and should be discarded.
     

  • You can also test the oyster is alive by poking lightly around the lips. They should retract slightly.
     

  • Double check with a smell, the oyster should smell fresh and like the ocean, but not fishy or bad. Do not eat if the oyster smells bad.