Shellfish Handling Tips

Oysters, clams, mussels and scallops are an excellent source of protein and are high in essential minerals, and low in calories, carbohydrates, fat and cholesterol. However, consumers should be aware that, like other meats, fish or poultry there are food safety precautions that can be taken with shellfish to reduce the risk of food borne illness:

Only purchase shellfish from a reputable supplier

Ask for Fanny Bay® brand oysters, clams and mussels by name to ensure that your purchase is supported by our history of providing quality assured products with our federally approved and internationally recognized HACCP food-safety program.

Shellfish are perishable and require proper refrigeration

  • Keep shellfish cool at all times with clean ice or refrigeration at 4 C (40 F)
  • Store frozen shellfish at -18 C (0 F), defrost in the refrigerator prior to use
  • Live oysters, clams and mussels should close their shells when handled
  • Discard broken or gaping shells that do not close when tapped firmly a few times
  • Check the best before date on containers of fresh or frozen oysters
  • Following cooking recommendations provided on oyster packaging
  • Discard clams, mussels or oysters in the shell that do not open when cooked
  • Use "Food Safe" methods when storing, handling and preparing all food

Do you love raw oysters?

We do, they are sweet and refreshing. Our Fanny Bay® small and extra-small oysters have been a standard at oyster bars around the world for years - accept no substitutes! Try our Golden Mantle and Northern Lite brands as well. All are available either live in the shell, pre-opened on the half-shell (Fresh Banquets) and individually quick frozen on the half-shell (IQF Banquets) for ease of preparation and serving.

All Fanny Bay® products are regularly tested and Canada Inspected to verify compliance with food safety standards. However, as with all foods of animal origin (including beef, eggs, fish, lamb, poultry, and shellfish) thorough cooking reduces the risk of foodborne illness. Individuals with certain health conditions may be at higher risk if these foods are consumed raw or undercooked.

To reduce the risk of food-borne illness, shellfish are recommended to be cooked for a minimum of 6 minutes to a temperature of 60ºC (140ºF). For further information, contact your local public health office or e-mail us at