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CDC cautions against raw oysters in summer … but this IS the Northwest

SEATTLE — Raw oysters and a nice white wine.

Sound like a perfect summertime pairing, right?

It can be, but the Center for Disease Control wants you to be careful. High summertime temperatures mean a bacteria in raw oysters known as vibriosis is a real possibility.

Vibriosis most often occurs in the summer, the CDC says. The infection typically result in diarrhea or vomiting, but some get really sick.

The CDC recommends not eating raw oysters, washing hands after handling raw seafood and separating cooked seafood from raw seafood.

But where’s the fun in not eating raw oysters?

A manager with Taylor Shellfish says the restaurants sells more raw oysters in the summertime than any other part of the year.  Tom Stocks says Taylor takes steps to mitigate any potential bacteria, such as closely monitoring harvesting beds. They also use asexual oysters, limiting the mating period that can increase chances of bacteria.

The most important part about staving off any sort of sickness is keeping the oysters cold. From harvest to the table, each Taylor Shellfish oyster is kept under 45 degrees.

“If you see an oyster that has firm clear flesh, nice big muscle, properly shucked and most importantly, ice cold, then that’s going to be a good oyster,” Stocks said.

Stocks said his favorite summertime oyster is the “Fat Bastard” from Sammish Bay, Washington.

“Big meat, deep cup,” Stocks said. “The summer is so good for oysters.”