1. Ensure that oysters in the shell are living. Dead oysters are unsuitable for consumption. Most living oysters keep their shells tightly closed. At times, oysters open their shells to “breathe.” Separate opened shells from unopened shells. Determine whether the oysters inside slightly opened shells are living or dead by administering a “tap” test. Tap opened shells with a knife. Living oysters will close their shells. If a tap elicits no response from the oyster, it is dead and should be discarded.
2. To refrigerate oysters in the shell, loosely place them in a large bowl or container. Avoid tightly packing the oysters into the container as air circulation is beneficial during storage. Dampen a clean cloth. Lay the cloth over the oysters and container to cover. Place the container in the refrigerator.
3. Refrigerate oysters in the shell at a temperature between 35 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Use a refrigerator thermometer to determine the temperature inside your refrigerator. Adjust the refrigerator’s temperature as needed. Refrigerated oysters will keep for approximately one week to 10 days.
4. To freeze oysters in the shell, put oysters inside a zipper-seal, plastic bag. Eliminate air pockets from the plastic bag. Lay the bag on a flat surface, push down on pockets of air and direct them toward and out of the bag’s opening. Seal the bag and place the bag in a freezer. Oysters may be safely stored in the freezer for approximately two to three months.