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Is it okay to eat a lobster claw that fell off?

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I ordered six live lobsters by mail, which arrived on Saturday. I'm planning to eat them tomorrow (with friends), so I wrapped them in newspaper and put them in the fridge.

One is particularly feisty, and as I was repositioning him in the fridge, he lost a claw.

Is it safe to eat a claw that has fallen off? If so, is there a time limit by which it should be eaten (after the time it fell off)?

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  1. It should be fine, but if you're worried, just throw the jettisoned claw into a frying pan with a little water and kinda steam it for 6 to 12 minutes, depending upon it's size. Look upon it as a "Gift to the Hostess" or a "Taste Test", whichever you prefer. Even if you don't eat it right away, it'll stay tasty longer once cooked.

    It's not uncommon for fish mongers here at the Shore to sell claws. In fact, they are a favorite tailgait treat for us in the Meadowlands parking lot. Just crack the big shell, let it rest over a bed of coals, and watch the drunks looking for the Port-a-Potties stare at 'em as they pass by.

    Lobster has an easy "sniff test" for pieces or dead, whole bugs. Once they're past, they will give off an ammonia aroma. You pick that up, bury the claw under the part of the garden where you'll plant next year's tomatoes.

    2 Replies
    1. re: MGZ

      Thanks so much! Exactly what I needed to know.

      1. re: MGZ

        i love the part about the tomatoes!

        you've got a great way of storytelling, MGZ.

      2. As MGZ says, my fish store sells loose claws at a nice discount. They have a special name for them which escapes me at the moment. Oh, culls, although that usually refers the the lobster itself that is missing the one claw! But obviously it's a stock item. They are sold cooked, but I'm sure it's not immediately following detachment.

        1. Yes, they are fine. Try and cook it soon. The meat will start to get a bit soft if it hangs around too long.

          1 Reply
          1. re: josephlapusata

            Thank you -- I don't have a great sense of smell (although ammonia is pretty distinctive), so it helps to have a visual test too.

          2. I'd say it'll be just fine. You KNOW it just fell off and hadn't be just tossed in before shipping to make sure each lobster had a pair.

            1. I'd be suspicious buying it from a guy who only has claws for sale and says "Yeah, this just fell off the lobster."

              2 Replies
              1. re: Tripeler

                My Dad , Big Big Al used to buy culls (one clawed lobsters) cause they were cheap. So was he in a big hearted way, and used to say he got them for their fighting spirit. My smart assed brother said "Dad, next time you pick a fightah, pick a winnah!"

                1. re: little big al

                  love it!

              2. Update: it was totally fine. NOM! Thanks for all the advice!

                1 Reply
                1. re: greenjenkins

                  It would have been a shame to throw away, glad we were able to rescue it!