Raw mussels: when and how they can be eaten

Raw mussels: when and how they can be eaten

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Theraw musselsthey are always at the center of heated debates. There are those who cannot do without them and those who are scared only by the idea of ​​eating them. Here's what you need to know if you want to eat raw mussels. From how they open up to the risks associated with the ingestion of these mussels.

Any foodrawcan hide pitfalls. For this reason, we recommend eating well-cooked meat, limiting the use of cured meats and avoiding raw seafood. Among the most popular seafood are mussels. In this article we will see:

  • Why iraw mussels they hurt
  • Related diseases
  • What are the symptoms linked to possible intoxication
  • How to open raw mussels

How to open raw mussels and when they can be eaten. Symptoms, risks and diseases related to the ingestion of raw mussels. Hairy or red mussels.

Why are raw mussels bad for you?

Why eatraw musselsit could be dangerous? For the mussel it is a filter-feeding animal and if grown in polluted marine areas, it can easily be a receptacle for bacteria and viruses that are very dangerous for humans. These microorganisms are deactivated with heat, that's whyeat raw musselsit is not wise.

Everymusselmanages to filter 1,000 liters of water per day. Think if the mussels are collected near urban drains, or if the mussels grow in environments where sea currents carry wastewater!

The mussels filter through the gills, retaining particles, metals and microorganisms suspended in the water.

In Southern Italy there is a strange belief: they can eat raw musselsonly if seasoned with a squeeze of lemon! The lemon “cleans and disinfects”…. In fact, despite the many recognized properties of lemon juice, its addition on oneraw mussel fails to eliminate microorganisms. To eliminate the bacteria, lemon juice would take many hours or even days.

Symptoms and diseases: raw mussel poisoning

What do you risk a to eat raw mussels? We cannot speak of a simple "raw mussel poisoning" because the pathologies associated with ingestion are many and even serious. It starts with viral hepatitis and ends with typhus.

The most common diseases that could trigger following the ingestion of raw mussels grown in polluted waters are:

  • typhus
  • cholera
  • the paratyphus
  • viral hepatitis
  • the norovirus
  • Gastrointestinal syndromes
  • Neurological syndromes

For the different diseases associated with the consumption ofraw musselsit is difficult to report godssymptomsspecific. The advice is to use only mussels raised in uncontaminated marine areas but between currents and difficulties in tracing a product, it is a difficult advice to follow. Abstention fromeat raw musselsit might be a wise choice.

Please note: the raw open mussels (mussels collected already open or found open in the purchased retina) are dead mussels, they must be discarded.

Are cooked mussels bad for you?

Raw mussels are associated with higher risks, however cooked mussels should also be eaten with caution. The reason? Some algal toxins (DSP and PSP) are heat resistant, which means that heat does not deactivate them and can trigger gastrointestinal and neurological syndromes.

How to open raw mussels

As stated, the advice is to avoid eating raw mussels so as not to risk any type of disease or intoxication. You can open raw mussels and then use them in many recipes that require a long cooking.

How to open raw mussels?

  • Slide and slide the upper valve onto the lower one. In practice, with your thumb you will have to put pressure on one valve until it is no longer protruding than the other, opening an entrance.
  • Insert the blade of a small knife between the two valves, right next to the difference in height between the two shells.
  • Slide the knife blade inside the mussel in order to open it. Alternatively, you can also rotate the blade of the knife but in this way, if the blade has not entered properly, you risk breaking the shell.
  • To open the raw mussels you will need to equip yourself with a bowl to hold right under the mussel so as to collect the water contained in the molluscs.

How about enjoying a good mussel sauce?

Hairy mussels

Thehairy musselsthey are typical of the Apulian seas. The hairy mussel (Modiolus Barbatus) has a deep orange color and a stronger flavor. For anglers, eating raw hairy mussels is an essential pleasure, despite the many risks involved.

Red mussels

If the hairy mussel represents a species in itself, more widespread in some areas of southern Italy, there is no systematic distinction between white and red mussels. The mussels have sexual dimorphism, the male mussel has a creamy yellow color (it is described as a white mussel) while the female mussel is red or orange (red mussels).

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