Discussion:
mussel shoals
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RichD
2020-10-06 21:15:19 UTC
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I read something a few month back, can't recall the source,
warning about tainted mussels.

Said first, toss out any which open before cooking  
(steaming).   Then, discard any which fail to open as
they ought, ~ 5 minutes.

I don't get this. Isn't steam antiseptic? Are there microscopic
critters that would survive?

--
Rich
Libor Striz
1970-01-01 00:00:00 UTC
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I read something a few month back, can't recall the source,warning about tainted mussels.Said first, toss out any which open before cooking (steaming). Then, discard any which fail to open as they ought, ~ 5 minutes.I don't get this. Isn't steam antiseptic? Are there microscopic critters that would survive?
Chemists are not magicians
who know an answer to every question
not even about chemistry.

Imagine you let a piece of meat lay a week at room temperature.
You would then cook it in pressurised cookware for an hour.
All microorganisms are killed now.
Would you eat it then ? Probably not.
Being sterile is not the only quality criteria.

The similar with mussels.
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Poutnik ( the Wanderer )
micky
2020-11-15 07:48:30 UTC
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In sci.chem, on Tue, 6 Oct 2020 23:30:44 +0200 (GMT+02:00), Libor Striz
Post by Libor Striz
I read something a few month back, can't recall the source,warning about tainted mussels.Said first, toss out any which open before cooking (steaming). Then, discard any which fail to open as they ought, ~ 5 minutes.I don't get this. Isn't steam antiseptic? Are there microscopic critters that would survive?
Chemists are not magicians
who know an answer to every question
not even about chemistry.
Darn.
Post by Libor Striz
Imagine you let a piece of meat lay a week at room temperature.
You would then cook it in pressurised cookware for an hour.
All microorganisms are killed now.
Would you eat it then ? Probably not.
Being sterile is not the only quality criteria.
But you knew the answer after all!
Post by Libor Striz
The similar with mussels.
Martin Brown
2020-10-07 09:53:51 UTC
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Post by RichD
I read something a few month back, can't recall the source,
warning about tainted mussels.
Said first, toss out any which open before cooking
(steaming).   Then, discard any which fail to open as
they ought, ~ 5 minutes.
I don't get this. Isn't steam antiseptic? Are there microscopic
critters that would survive?
The bacteria don't survive but some of the toxins they produce are not
denatured by boiling water so you have poisonous shellfish if they were
contaminated. The heuristic isn't a bad one to avoid food poisoning.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paralytic_shellfish_poisoning

(other varieties of shellfish poisoning are available - same theme)
--
Regards,
Martin Brown
RichD
2020-10-08 21:39:47 UTC
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Post by Martin Brown
Post by RichD
I read something a few month back, can't recall the source,
warning about tainted mussels.
Said first, toss out any which open before cooking
(steaming). Then, discard any which fail to open as
they ought, ~ 5 minutes.
Isn't steam antiseptic? Are there microscopic
critters that would survive?
The bacteria don't survive but some of the toxins they produce are not
denatured by boiling water so you have poisonous shellfish if they were
contaminated. The heuristic isn't a bad one to avoid food poisoning.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paralytic_shellfish_poisoning
So it's a non-biological, non-organic toxin? And this somehow affects the opening of the clam's mouth?

--
Rich
Martin Brown
2020-10-09 08:37:32 UTC
Permalink
Post by RichD
Post by Martin Brown
Post by RichD
I read something a few month back, can't recall the source,
warning about tainted mussels.
Said first, toss out any which open before cooking
(steaming). Then, discard any which fail to open as
they ought, ~ 5 minutes.
Isn't steam antiseptic? Are there microscopic
critters that would survive?
The bacteria don't survive but some of the toxins they produce are not
denatured by boiling water so you have poisonous shellfish if they were
contaminated. The heuristic isn't a bad one to avoid food poisoning.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paralytic_shellfish_poisoning
So it's a non-biological, non-organic toxin? And this somehow affects the opening of the clam's mouth?
It is a powerful biological neurotoxin that is thermally stable to well
above the boiling point of water. Nothing unusual about that - there are
plenty of organic chemicals which are thermally stable in boiling water.

The saxitoxin molecule is shown in the top right on the linked page.

I presume it also paralyses the effected shellfish muscle as well so
that the contaminated ones do not open when cooked.

Leviticus 11:10 was good advice in the days before refrigeration.
--
Regards,
Martin Brown
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