Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services

Handling and Serving Oysters

To ensure that the highest-quality oysters reach retail and food service operations, strict harvesting and handling standards are imposed on fishermen, farmers, packers and distributors. Maintain a wholesome and safe product of Florida oysters by following these guidelines. When you emphasize quality control, oysters will have less spoilage and a longer shelf life and will provide better economic return.

Handling Oysters in the Shell (Shell Stock)

Make sure all containers are properly tagged by certified dealers and the tags are retained for at least 90 days.

Store at 40 degrees F in dry refrigeration.

Oysters should be alive until prepared. Discard dead oysters that have gapping shells.

Handling Shucked Meat in Containers

Containers should be labeled with the product name, processor name, volume and sell-by date. The sell-by date should be the 14th day after processing.

The container should be covered with ice and stored under refrigeration at 35 degrees F. Containers should be leakproof and the oyster meat should be completely covered in their own liquid.

For the best quality, use on or before the sell-by date.

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