Is it safe to eat clams that are open before cooking?

Asked By: Mamoun Peierl | Last Updated: 12th January, 2020
Category: sports fishing sports
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2 Answers. Before steaming the clams, they should all be closed. If any of your clams are open, give them a tap and if they stay open, then it is bad and you should take it out of your batch to prevent it from ruining the other clams. After you have steamed the clams, most of them should be open.

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Then, is it OK to eat mussels that are open before cooking?

Myth: Mussels have gone bad if they are open before cooking. Fact: Mussels that are open before cooking are most likely still alive. Give them a tap either with your finger or on the side of a bowl and wait for the shell to close up. If the shell does not close after tapping, then discard.

Additionally, do clams open on their own? Live clams can be slightly open, but in order to check that they are still alive, you need to tap them lightly- a live one will close right up. If it stays ajar, it's dead. The clam uses muscles to open/close its shell, and when those muscles are relaxed it can cause the clam to open *very slightly*.

Also question is, what happens when clams don't open?

If your clams do not open during cooking, don't force them open, they likely arrived dead or full of mud so they should be discarded. Clams steamed in wine with butter and herbs.

Why shouldn't you eat closed mussels?

Unopened mussels were dead from the start, and are unsafe to eat. All mussels need to be gently pried open to eat, but if the shell is so tightly closed you need a crowbar, it means that one is no good.

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What happens if you eat dead mussels?

Mussels that do not open during cooking or that have chips or cracks on the shell may be dead. The meat of dead mussels deteriorates, increasing your risk of microorganism contamination, food poisoning, infectious disease and other health problems. Earing dead mussels can be dangerous to your health.

How do you know if a mussel is bad?

If the shell is broken or smashed in any places, the mussel is dead and will not be safe to eat. Look at the opening of the shell. If it is fully open, then the mussel is bad. Check if the opening of the shell is partially open.

How can you tell if a mussel has red tide?

It's important to know that some algal blooms do not change the colour of the water and that red tide often cannot be seen from the shore by the naked eye. It's always necessary to check for red tide and other shellfish closures, whether or not the water looks red or brown coloured.

Do you have to wash mussels before cooking?

Just before cooking, soak your mussels in fresh water for about 20 minutes. As the mussels breathe, they filter water and expel sand. After about 20 minutes, the mussels will have less salt and sand stored inside their shells.

Do mussels have poop in them?


Pretty much yes you will be ingesting some "poop". Your eating the whole oysters flesh, reproductive and waste organs which will have some imfesireable fluids and small waste particles.

Can mussels kill you?

Even if your mussels are packed with E coli or norovirus, if they are well cooked no harm will come to you; they are all destroyed.

Can you eat mussel beards?

The beard isn't harmful or inedible (just not particularly desirable to our taste buds), so don't fret if there are a few little threads left that you can't grasp. With a bit of practice, cleaning and debearding a few pounds of mussels should only take about 15 minutes of your prep time.

Does opening a clam kill it?

It's alive. Or if an oyster, clam or mussel doesn't open when it's cooked, sometimes it's dead — killed in the cooking process — but the muscle is just so joined to the shell that it's not letting go.”

When should you not eat clams?

Following the “R” Rule for Shellfish. Common lore states that we should only be eating shellfish, especially oysters, in months with the letter “R.” So we can help ourselves to all the oysters, mussels, and clams we can eat from September through April, but put the brakes on come May.

What happens if you eat dead clams?


Clams are exceedingly perishable; there is no length of time after they are dead that you should eat them. They should always be killed as part of the cooking process. They may open (they are naturally filter feeders, and open to try and feed and respire), but if tapped should close indicating they are still alive.

Are frozen clams alive?

Frozen clams will last up to 3 months at 0 degrees F. Thaw frozen clams in the refrigerator before using, and never refreeze them. Clams are still alive when you freeze them and when thawed come back to life. That is how they live under water in the winter.

How long do clams take to cook?

Cover the pot. Bring the water to a boil. Let the clams cook in the steam from the boiling water for about 5-10 minutes, until the steamer clam shells are wide open, then remove the pot from the heat. Any steamers that didn't open should be discarded.

How do you know if clams are dead?

Clams and mussels shells should be slightly open, and should shut quickly when you tap on them. If they're closed, don't shut, or float in water, they're dead.

Do clams feel pain?

Conclusive evidence on whether bivalves, or even crustaceans, for that matter, feel pain, has yet to surface, but for starters, they “do not have a brain,” Juusola says, demonstrating with his fingers that when a scallop opens and closes, that's a reaction due to a nervous system, not their nervous system calling out

Can clams make you sick?


If you at risk, raw or undercooked oysters or clams containing Vibrio vulnificus can make you sick. You can also become infected if these bacteria enter your body through an open wound while swimming. To safeguard your health, take these precautions: NEVER swim or wade in seawater when you have sores or open wounds.

Does opening an oyster kill it?

So, the simple answer of whether pearl farms kill the oyster is.. yes. If you see an oyster that has been completely opened like this, there is no way it will survive. So, this is a good indication that the oyster has been killed.

Why can't you eat clams that don't open?

Most of the time the heat will denature the proteins in the adductor muscles causing it to release the shells. But sometimes it can cause the muscle to "seize" and hold firm. Clam or Mussels that refuse to open after they have been cooked IS NOT an indicator that they are bad.