Oysters

For many years packers of canned oysters in the Gulf of Mexico area of the United States have labeled their output with a declaration of the drained weight of oysters in the containers. Packers in other areas have marketed canned oysters with a declaration of the total weight of the contents of the container. Under present-day practice consumers generally do not discard the liquid packing medium, but use it as a part of the food. Compliance with the label declaration of quantity of contents requirement will be met by an accurate declaration of the total weight of the contents of the can.

General Definitions

Oysters, raw oysters, and shucked oysters, are the class of foods each of which is obtained by shucking shell oysters and preparing them in a prescribed manner. If water or salt water containing <0.75% salt is used in any vessel into which the oysters are shucked, the combined volume of oysters and liquid should not be less than four times the volume of the water or salt water. Any liquid accumulated with the oysters is removed. The oysters are washed, by blowing or otherwise, in water, salt water, or both. The total time that the oysters are in contact with the water or salt water after leaving the shucker, including the time of washing, rinsing, and any other contact with water or salt water is not more than 30 min. In computing the time of contact with water or salt water, the length of time that oysters are in contact with water or salt water that is agitated by blowing or otherwise, should be calculated at twice its actual length. Any period of time that oysters are in contact with salt water containing not less than 0.75% salt before contact with oysters should not be included in computing the time. Before packing into containers for shipment, or other delivery for consumption, the oysters are thoroughly drained and are packed without any added substance.

Shell oysters means live oysters of any of the species Ostrea virginica, Ostrea gigas, or Ostrea lurida, in the shell, which, after removal from their beds, have not been floated or otherwise held under conditions that result in the addition of water. The oysters are drained on a strainer or skimmer that has an area of not less than 300 in.2/gal of oysters, drained, and has perforations of at least 0.25 in. in diameter and not more than 1.25 in. apart, or perforations of equivalent areas and distribution. The oysters are distributed evenly over the draining surface of the skimmer and drained for not less than 5 min.

Extra Large Oysters

Extra large oysters, oysters counts (or plants), extra large raw oysters, raw oysters counts (or plants), extra large shucked oysters, and shucked oysters counts (or plants) are of the species O. virginica. One gallon of this size oyster contains not more than 160 oysters and a quart of the smallest of these oysters contains not more than 44 oysters.

Large Oysters

Large oysters, oysters extra selects, large raw oysters, raw oysters extra selects, large shucked oysters, and shucked oysters extra selects are of the species O. virginica and 1 gal contains more than 160 oysters but not more than 210 oysters. A quart of the smallest of these oysters contains not more than 58 oysters, and a quart of the largest oysters contains more than 36 oysters.

Medium Oysters

Medium oysters, oysters selected, medium raw oysters, raw oysters selects, medium shucked oysters, and shucked oysters selects are of the species O. virginica. One gallon contains more than 210 oysters but not more than 300 oysters; a quart of the smallest oysters contains not more than 83 oysters, and a quart of the largest oysters contains more than 46 oysters.

Small Oysters

Small oysters, oysters standards, small raw oysters, raw oysters standards, small shucked oysters, and shucked oysters standards are of the species O. virginica-, 1 gal contains more than 300 oysters but not more than 500 oysters. A quart of the smallest oysters contains not more than 138 oysters, and a quart of the largest oysters contains more than 68 oysters.

Very Small Oysters

Very small oysters, very small raw oysters, and very small shucked oysters are of the species O. virginica; 1 gal contains more than 500 oysters and a quart of the largest oysters contains more than 112 oysters.

Olympia Oysters

Olympia oysters, raw Olympia oysters, and shucked Olympia oysters are of the species O. lurida.

Large Pacific Oysters

Large Pacific oysters, large raw Pacific oysters, and large shucked Pacific oysters are of the species O. gigas, and 1 gal contains not more than 64 oysters. The largest oyster in the container is not more than twice the weight of the smallest oyster therein.

Medium Pacific Oysters

Medium Pacific oysters, medium raw Pacific oysters, and medium shucked Pacific oysters are of the species 0. gigas, and 1 gal contains more than 64 oysters and not more than 96 oysters. The largest oyster in the container is not more than twice the weight of the smallest oyster therein.

Small Pacific Oysters

Small Pacific oysters, small raw Pacific oysters, and small shucked Pacific oysters are of the species O. gigas. One gallon contains more than 96 oysters and not more than 144 oysters; the largest oyster in the container is not more than twice the weight of the smallest oyster therein.

Extra Small Pacific Oysters

Extra small Pacific oysters, extra small raw Pacific oysters, and extra small shucked Pacific oysters are of the species O. gigas, and 1 gal contains more than 144 oysters. The largest oyster in the container is not more than twice the weight of the smallest oyster therein.

Canned Oysters

Canned oysters contain one or any mixture of two or all of the forms of oysters described above in a packing medium of water, the watery liquid draining from oysters before or during processing, or a mixture of such liquid and water. The food may be seasoned with salt. It is sealed in containers and so processed by heat as to prevent spoilage. The forms of oysters referred to are prepared from oysters that have been removed from their shells and washed and that may be steamed while in the shell or steamed or blanched or both after removal therefrom, and are as follows:

1. Whole oysters with such broken pieces of oysters as normally occur in removing oysters from their shells, washing, and packing.

2. Pieces of oysters obtained by segregating pieces of oysters broken in shucking, washing, or packing whole oysters.

3. Cut oysters obtained by cutting whole oysters.

The name of the food is oysters or cove oysters if the species is O. virginica; oysters or Pacific oysters if the species is O. gigas; and oysters or Olympia oysters if the species is O. lurida.

The standard of fill of container for canned oysters is a fill such that the drained weight of oysters taken from each container is not less than 59% of the water capacity of the container. If canned oysters fall below the standard of fill of container, the label should bear the general statement of substandard fill: "A can of this size should contain _ oz. of oysters. This can contains only _ oz.," the blanks being filled in with the applicable figures.

Abbreviated Inspections

Microbiological considerations are of prime importance in any shellfish gathering and processing plant. Time-

temperature abuses enter into most problems with the products. However, the high value of these products has made economic violations even more profitable to the unethical operator. The FDA conducts both abbreviated and comprehensive inspections of oyster processing plants.

When conducting an abbreviated inspection, the FDA uses the following critical factors:

1. Check for evidence of contamination from the presence of cats, dogs, birds, or vermin in the plant.

2. Check results of any testing conducted on incoming oysters including filth, decomposition, pesticides, or bacteria.

3. Check for possible incorporation of excessive fresh water through prolonged contact with water or by insufficient drainage.

4. Be alert to misbranding of oysters by size.

5. Determine if employee sanitation practices preclude adding contamination (clean dress and proper use of 100 ppm chlorine equivalent hand sanitizers).

6. Determine if equipment is washed and sanitized about every two hours.

7. Check for time-temperature abuses that may cause rapid bacterial growth.

8. Weigh 20 retail packages for net weight declaration, and check accuracy of labeling statements at this time.

Comprehensive Inspection

During a comprehensive inspection of an oyster processing plant, an FDA inspector pays particular attention to the points listed below.

1. Check insanitation in chucking plants and decomposition of oysters, by conventional means. Pay particular attention to frozen oysters rolled in batter ready to cook. When dealing with economic violations, emphasis should be placed on consumer-size packages, pints, and quarts, with less attention to larger-size institutional packs.

2. The abuses most often encountered in the marketing of shucked oysters are a. The incorporation of excessive fresh water into the bodies of the oysters by keeping them in prolonged contact with fresh water.

b. Increasing the output of oysters, usually by insufficient drainage before packing.

c. Short volume.

d. Misbranding as to size. Actions on misbranding as to size should be based only on significant evidence of financial gain.

3. Cover in detail the amount of water in shucking pails, the total length of time of contact with water, length of blowing time, length of time in contact with fresh water when not being blown, length of draining time, description of skimmer and draining process, and a count of the oysters in one or more sizes. De termine the source of oysters and whether they are all from the same locality.

Homemade Pet Food Secrets

Homemade Pet Food Secrets

It is a well known fact that homemade food is always a healthier option for pets when compared to the market packed food. The increasing hazards to the health of the pets have made pet owners stick to containment of commercial pet food. The basic fundamentals of health for human beings are applicable for pets also.

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