Current treatments to reduce the occurrence of the bacteria Vibrio vulnificus in oysters destined for the half-shell market include expensive radiation and heating processes, which may compromise the quality of the oyster meat. After positive results from a small preliminary study, VIMS Researchers Howard Kator, Kimberly Reece, and Corinne Audemard are conducting a larger follow-up study of high salinity relay. The process involves transferring oysters to higher salinity water before bringing them to market. The researchers are using a large sample of oysters collected monthly from April to October at three sites. They will also calculate the relative cost of this process to see if it has the potential to save money for oyster growers.
Project details: Howard Kator (VIMS), Kimberly Reece (VIMS), and Corinne Audemard (VIMS). Evaluation of Vibrio vulnificus occurrence in oysters harvested from Virginia waters and validation of high-salinity relay as a post-harvest processing method.