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How to Store Oysters & Shellfish & Best Before Guide

How to store oysters
Follow our four steps below to store fresh oysters. Top oyster bars, restaurants and hotels in the UK use this same method to store oysters.

Step 1
Upon receipt, open the box of oysters and check that the shells are closed and unbroken. See 'Tap Test' below.

Step 2
Clean the oyster shells with a stiff brush under cold running water. After that, place the oysters 'cup down' on the Simply Oysters Oyster Tray or a another flat tray. That way, if the oysters open slightly while stored, the oysters' liquor (clear pool of seawater in the oysters' shells) should remain within the cupped shell.

Step 3
Cover the oysters with a damp - not wet - tea towel or cloth. Check to make sure the tea towel or cloth remains damp while the oysters are stored in the fridge.

Step 4
Place the tray in the coldest part of the fridge - on the shelf closest to the freezer. The fridge temperature should not be lower than 4 degrees; ideally between 4 and 8 degrees.

Tap Test
Oysters should be closed and unbroken. However, oysters can open slightly while in transit or stored in the fridge (this is normal). If any oyster has opened, simply tap the oyster firmly on the bench and it should close. If the oyster closes when tapped, it means the oyster is fresh and fine to consume. Discard any oyster that does not close when tapped, or has a broken or cracked shell.

Use the method described above to store mussels, clams, cockles and scallops.

Important: Do not store oysters and other shellfish (mussels, clams and cockles) in sealed containers; or on ice; or in water or in the freezer.

Best before guide for oysters/shellfish
For the freshest and best flavour store oysters and other shellfish in the fridge as described above, and consume:

Pacific and Kumamoto Oysters within 5 days from delivery;

Native Oysters within 2-3 days from delivery;

Mussels, clams, cockles and scallops within 1-2 days from delivery.

Oysters can be consumed raw or cooked. Mussels, clams, cockles and scallops must be cooked prior to consumption.

See How to Shuck Oysters