Raw Food Risks

Buy only live mollusks

(HealthDay is the new name for HealthScoutNews.)

(HealthDayNews) -- Raw food lovers should take precautions to decrease their risk of getting a seafood-borne illness, advises Rush-Presbyterian-St.Lukes Medical Center.

Here are some pointers:

  • Buy only live mollusks. When a clam, oyster, mussel or scallop is alive, the shell will be closed tightly or will close when tapped lightly. Another test for freshness is to hold the shell between your thumb and forefinger and press it as though sliding the two halves of the shell across one another. If the shells move, throw the mollusk away.
  • Always ask to see the tag that certifies the shellfish were taken from waters approved by the US National Shellfish Sanitation Program. Pollutants in shellfish beds can cause hepatitis, salmonella poisoning and other diseases.
  • Discard dry oyster meat. Oyster meat should have a creamy, tan color. It should be plump and smell fresh and mild.
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