Leavins "Frosted Oysters" undergo a rigorous multi-tier system of controls for product quality and safety.
1. Approved Harvest Waters
It all starts in the water - All oysters processed at Leavins Seafood are harvested from State controlled waters which are monitored for any potential contaminant.
Live oysters are harvested only from areas about the Gulf of Mexico (Texas, Louisiana and Florida) which have been approved and opened for harvest.
All oysters are identified (tagged) before leaving the harvest area with all pertinent information needed for traceability (harvest date, location and time, and the harvester's license number.) This information accompanies the product until delivery to our customers.
3. Temperature Control
After harvest, the oysters are handled to prevent any potential contamination and promptly delivered to the certified dealer where they are held in refrigeration below the required limit of 45°F. Under no circumstances can any product be allowed to exceed the temperature limit during transport or processing for more than two hours. Records are maintained for all refrigeration.
4. Product Grading
Only certain oysters can be selected for the 'Frosting' process. Each oyster must be screened for size, shape and sensory standards before entering the proprietary frosting procedures.
5. Validated Process
The frosting procedures have been formally validated in accordance with the most current Interstate Shellfish Sanitation Conference (ISSC) Model Ordinance and FDA mandates for HACCP. The science-based validation was conducted by the Food Science and Human Nutrition Department at the University of Florida and approved by the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
6. Frozen Storage
All 'Frosted Oysters' are covered with a special protective glaze before packaging for frozen storage. Finished products are stored at 0°F for a proprietary holding time to assure product safety.
7. Certificate of Analysis
All 'Frosted Oysters' are subject to microbial analysis prior to release into the market. The Franklin County Oyster Industry Lab uses nationally recognized methods in routine analysis for any potential Vibrio-type bacteria before issuing a certificate of analysis which clears products for market. Analytical results are recorded such that they can be provided upon customer request.