Below are some of the questions most frequently asked by Minterbrook customers. If your question is not answered below, don't hesitate to give us a call or email us with your question.
MBO is located on Minter Bay, part of the southern Puget Sound, Washington State. MBO maintains harvest grounds stretching from the Canadian Border to Southern Oregon.
Yes. The belief that one could not do so is largely based on the fact that summer is the spawning time for many oysters, during which period they are not at their prime. Innovation in oyster culture, however, has produced species that do not spawn during this period. MBO ensures year-round oysters quality by growing and harvesting both types of oysters.
Another source for this truism is that "red tide" blooms most frequently occur during the warmer months.
Although risk is associated with eating raw shellfish, MBO places the highest priority on ensuring the safety of its products. MBO harvests oysters ONLY from certified growing areas that are monitored by the Washington State Department of Health for both safety and quality. Minterbrook's operating facility complies with strict guidelines established by the Washington State Department of Health and the Food and Drug Administration. In addition to the mandatory testing programs implemented by these organizations, MBO also maintains a private testing program to ensure all aspects of product quality and safety.
There are many different types of red tides - most of which are harmless. Red tides are so called because the presence of large quantities of algae causes the water to look pink, orange, violet or (most commonly) red. Most types of algae that cause red tide are harmless, but one type causes a toxic reaction called Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP). Although more frequent during the warmer months, red tides can occur at any time of the year. The toxins that cause PSP are tasteless, odorless and colorless, but are readily detected through scientific testing.
Minterbrook's oysters and harvest grounds are routinely tested for the presence of the toxins which cause PSP and this information is provided to the Washington State Health Department and used to track the level of toxins occurring in waters throughout the Puget Sound. This information is then made public on the Red Tide Hot Line.
Yes. MBO shares consumers' ecological concerns - after all, the future of oyster farming depends on the continued preservation of soil and water quality. The jar is #1 PET, a fully recyclable plastic also used to make soda bottles and other grocery containers.
Oyster counts vary due to the length and thickness of the oyster, the time of year during which it was harvested and the water content of the oyster itself. As a point of reference, keep in mind that a 10-ounce jar holds approximately 5-7 medium-sized oysters, 7-10 small oysters, or 9-13 extra small oysters.
It usually takes 2.5-4 years to grow an oyster to medium harvest size.
The length of shelf life is dependent upon the condition of the oysters and the temperature at which it is stored. Oysters harvested during the summer months when biological stresses are highest have the shortest shelf life (approximately 16-18 days). Oysters harvested during the winter months have a shelf life of 18-21 days. We recommend that the storage temperature remain between 33-40 degrees and guarantee shelf life under these conditions; temperature abuses will reduce shelf life.
The easy answer is, "it depends on what the oysters ate." Oysters filter large amounts of water that may contain colorful algae. The filtrates concentrate in the belly of the oyster. If red algae are present, the oyster's belly may look red or the red pigment may leach into the liquid in the jar. This often takes a few days to occur and is non-toxic.
It is recommended to rinse all oysters thoroughly. Then blanch the oysters
in boiling water for about a minute prior to cooking. Blanching the oysters
will make them firmer and easier to handle.
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