How to Tell if Jarred Oysters Are Good

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Raw oysters in jars can be convenient.

Consumers have the option of purchasing fresh oysters in the shell or shucked oysters in jars. Although the ease and convenience of buying shucked oysters makes them appealing, take care to ensure that the oysters you buy are fresh and tasty. When you open a jar of shucked oysters, know what you are looking for as you examine it. Within a few seconds, you can tell if jarred oysters are good.


Step 1

Check the printed date on the oyster jar. Buy and use jarred oysters before the expiration date.

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Step 2

Open the jar and smell the oysters. Jarred oysters should not smell fishy or unpleasant. They should smell slightly salty and fresh. If oysters have an unpleasant smell, do not eat them.


Step 3

Examine the color of the oysters. Most oysters have a light tan color, although you may notice slight variations of red or green depending on their environment and diet. If you open jarred oysters and notice pink color in the meat, along with an unpleasant smell, do not eat the oysters. This may indicate yeast organisms present in the oysters.



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