Raw Oysters and Food Safety
It is getting cold and winter is the traditional season for savouring oysters. There are different ways to enjoy oysters, including deep fried, hot-pot and some members of the public may choose to eat raw oysters. If consumers choose to eat raw oysters, they should be aware of the associated risk. Due to their specific growing nature, oysters can be easily contaminated by pathogens (including bacteria and viruses) and chemical contaminants. Consumption of raw oysters contaminated with pathogens may cause food poisoning, affecting our health.
Consumers who choose to eat raw oysters are advised to take note of the following food safety tips:
- Susceptible populations (the elderly, young children, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems or liver diseases) should avoid taking raw oysters.
- Eating raw oysters carries inherent food safety risk. To minimise the impact on health, raw oysters should only be consumed in or obtained from reliable licensed premises.
- Consumers choose to eat raw oysters are reminded to apply the Five Keys to Food Safety to mitigate the risk.
- For oysters intended for consumption after cooking, never eat them raw.