Oysters, Pearls, and Bacteria, Oh My! ~ Random Waves of Insight
Have Posts Sent To Your Inbox!
Enter your email address:

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Oysters, Pearls, and Bacteria, Oh My!

The first time I ever encountered oysters, I was fascinated by the idea of finding a pearl. I had previously seen cartoons and other things on television that connected oysters and those valuable little things called pearls, and so I was thrilled by the possibility of finding a pearl and finally owning something of extraordinary value. Unfortunately, any and all pearls were nowhere to be found.

Somewhere deep down, I crave oysters even more now, because I now know that in order to get a pearl, you’ve got to go out into the ocean and do the work yourself. That makes things seem easier, because no one is around to snatch a pearl from you, or to say, “Sorry kid, no pearls here!”

Eating raw oysters that have bacteria can make you sick, but there are three post-harvest processes that can reduce or eliminate that possibility. You either flash freeze the oysters, heat them (or heat and cool them), or pressurize them. That should usually prevent illness, even in someone who eats the oysters raw, but unfortunately these methods are only used for about 10% of U.S. oysters. Still, it can give you comfort knowing that Gulf oysters that have been treated are safer to eat.

If you enjoyed this post, please think about becoming a subscriber to my RSS feed.