How to Know If Oysters Are Dead


Vibrio vulnificus is a harmful bacterium that lives in warm ocean waters where oysters thrive. When people with certain medical conditions consume contaminated oysters, they may die or become seriously ill. To avoid consuming or serving infected seafood, you should only buy from reputable suppliers and check each oyster before purchase to make sure it's alive.

  • Observe whether the oysters are open or closed. Most closed oysters are alive. Lightly tap an open shell -- a live oyster will immediately snap shut. If the shell remains open, the oyster is dead and shouldn't be purchased or used.

  • Hold an oyster in your hand. The shell should feel full. If the shell doesn't feel heavy, tap it lightly against another oyster's shell. A hollow sound indicates a dead oyster. If the oyster is alive, you will hear a solid sound.

  • Smell the oyster at the market and again during food preparation. Live oysters should smell sweet, fresh and briny. Dead oysters have a strong fishy smell.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • How to Properly Store Fresh Oysters

    There are always many scares associated with proper storage of oysters and other shellfish, primarily because they are sometimes eaten raw. If...

  • How to Tell If Raw Oysters Are Bad

    Oysters are typically eaten raw and seasoned with lemon juice, horseradish, hot sauce or other sauces. It is imperative that the oysters...

  • How to Open Oyster Shells

    Oysters are mollusks that live in the sea, often near coastal regions. The meat of an oyster is low in fat and...

  • How do I Barbecue Oysters in the Shell?

    Barbecued oysters make a simple and succulent appetizer with any meal, though they are particularly tasty outside on a grill during warm...

Related Searches

Check It Out

13 Delicious Thanksgiving Sides That'll Make Turkey Insignificant

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!