How can you tell if clams are bad? If you aren’t sure, then this article will help. Here are the top four signs that clams are not good
The life of a clam is short and simple. They live buried in sand, mud, or gravel with their siphons just poking out to take in oxygen from the water.
As such, you might not think there are many ways for them to die! But if they do meet an unfortunate end before they get the chance to grow into full size clams, then it’s important that we learn how to tell if clams are bad so that you don’t accidentally eat one when you’re cooking up your favorite seafood dish.
These are a delicacy to most people, especially seafood lovers. Clams are an ideal meal not only to keep you full but also to improve your body’s immune function and zinc status.
If you’ve never eaten one before, then definitely, it’s time you joined the train. But, be careful not to get the bad ones inedible or cause you ill health when consumed. Therefore, here are ways to tell if clams are bad and need the cold shoulder.
Table of Contents
Here’s how to tell if clams are bad:
The way to tell if your clams are bad is by smelling them or tasting their meaty flavor. If the clam smells like it should, there’s no need to worry about its freshness!
1. They don’t move when you touch them
Clams are usually sold alive, and you’ll often find them displayed in crates filled with ocean water and sand. Or, you’ll find them stored in refrigerated cubes in seafood stores. Dead clams are toxic and accumulate bacteria quickly, so you need to avoid them like the plague. To ascertain that they are alive, tap on open clams and see if they close. If they don’t, then, well, don’t pick them.
2. They smell fishy
Good clams should emanate a fresh, clean, and salty smell. This scent indicates that the clams are indeed alive and ready to be picked for dinner. If any fishy odor crosses your senses, then take it as a red light. This smell indicates two things – that the clam is either dead or has accumulated bacteria that will cause you problems.
3. They have cracked or chipped shells
Broken, cracked, and chipped shells are a terrible indication that clams aren’t fresh and might have died a while ago – or days ago. Clams can’t survive on broken shells and often die very quickly. It’s because they get their food by filtering through the shells and maybe unfunctional if they are broken. Dead clams are easily contaminated by bacteria that will cause you health problems.
4. They manifest signs of infectious diseases
Clams can carry infectious diseases evidenced by deposits or blisters in the clam’s inner surfaces of shells and dark, pale, or decolored meat. Clams with this feature are often dangerous when consumed as they can trigger health complications or lead to the development of allergies that could turn detrimental.
Storing clams properly
You should consume clams immediately after purchasing them, or, if not convenient, storing them for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator will keep them fresh. Some seafood experts suggest that you can eat them even after the lapse of a day. Either way, they have to stay alive all this time.
One great way of keeping them alive is storing them in the refrigerator by placing them on a tray and covering them gently with a soft kitchen towel. However, you should allow for breathing space so that you don’t suffocate them to death. In case any of them dies, remove them immediately and drain the accumulated fluids to avoid contamination.
Clams are a great supplement of proteins and essential elements such as zinc. They are a prized delicacy to many seafood lovers. If you’ve decided to join the party too, then, well, welcome aboard. However, be sure not to pick the bad ones though.