3

I used to live in a coastal town and never worried about getting fresh mussels, but now I live in inland Ecuador and today bought a bag of frozen clams and a bag of frozen mussels. They all seem to be slightly open, but just a crack, around 1-2mm. Is that normal for frozen mussels/clams?

The bags don't smell bad, but now I'm worried as they are just in a plastic packet with no name and no description.

How will I know if they are good to go? The shop is about two hours away so I can't go back and check. I do not know if they have been partially pre-cooked or if they have just been frozen raw.

1

You are right to be concerned. The main reasons for frozen bivalves to be slightly open:

  • They were steamed before freezing. This is common, and fine. You should be able to verify this by thawing 1-2 of them and checking if they are cooked.
  • They were frozen very slowly. This is bad, because the bivalves can die and go bad during the freezing process.
  • They've thawed and then been re-frozen. This is also bad, because it also makes contamination much more likely.

If you check them, and it turns out that they are not precooked, then you are taking a substantial risk by eating them. I wouldn't do it.

Sorry that I have no references for the above; I've searched the relevant literature, and the only thing I can find is some Reddit questions verifying that it's normal for bivalves to open on thawing.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.