Harvesting, handling and marketing
Harvesting and depuration of molluscs have been described briefly. Handling and marketing of oysters assume special importance when they are meant to be served on half-shells. The rearing technique itself is suited for producing oysters in excellent condition with high levels of glycogen and regular-shaped shells. Procedures of greening oysters to cater to the gourmet market in France have been described earlier. Besides catering to consumer preferences, it is also of importance to ensure the safety of the products, particularly since they are consumed raw and contamination with pathogenic organisms is more likely in filter-feeding animals such as the oysters. Oysters grown in areas suspected to be contaminated have to be depurated by methods described before they are marketed.
When oysters are not eaten raw, the shucked oyster meat is chilled, frozen or dried for marketing. In China and some of the Southeast Asian countries, oyster sauce is a common culinary item and a good part of the production is dried and converted into sauce.