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The Truth about the 'R' Rule: When Should We Eat Shellfish?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015 : 12:00 AM

You may have heard of the old saying that you should only eat shellfish during the months that contain the letter ‘R’. So from September through to April you can feast on oysters and mussels, but in the summer months they are to be avoided? Here is the truth behind the shellfish ‘R’ rule.

First and foremost, when it comes to seafood it is always best to eat seasonal. There are many reasons behind this, but most importantly it means that you will always be cooking and eating fish which is at its prime. At Fishbox we always ensure that only the best quality, seasonal seafood is sent to you, by dealing directly with our local fishermen and suppliers.

One of the main arguments for the ‘R’ rule is that Red Tide levels can become high during the summer season. If a large amount of this particular algae is present in the water the toxins emitted may concentrate within the shellfish, increasing the risk of them making you ill. However, modern farming methods now regulate algae concentration and shellfish are strictly monitored for toxins before being sold. This means that even through the summer months it is very unlikely that you will come across contaminated shellfish.

Another argument for following the ‘R’ rule is that during the summer shellfish are spawning. Spawning can change the taste and texture of shellfish, which means that they may not be at their best. Reducing shellfish consumption during this time also allows for the species to repopulate. This is important as it helps to maintain a healthy, natural balance of shellfish in our seas.

Remember you can always eat your seafood with confidence knowing that the contents of your Fishbox has been sustainability, seasonally sourced all year round.

For our favourite Fishbox Shellfish Recipes click here

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