The “R” Rule

If you are an oyster lover, I’m sure you have heard of the “R-Rule” (can I eat oysters in a month without an R). If you haven’t, the “R-Rule” is referring to the months in the year that include the letter ‘r’ (September, October, November, December, January and March). The question is, does this rule still apply in todays technology and research?

The “R-Rule” is out of style! Let’s move into the now and future in the world of oysters. Enjoy oysters every month of the year!

The History Behind the “R-Rule”

The “R-Rule” has been around for many years now. Before oyster farming, the only way to have oysters was to harvest them from an existing oyster bed. Here in North Carolina, wild oyster season runs October through March to protect wild oysters during the summer/warmer months because they spawn. Why don’t farmed oysters spawn during the summer months?

Farmed Oysters

Wild oysters (Crassostrea virginica) and farm raised oysters are genetically the same except with one difference. Farm raised oysters are triploids, which means they do not/cannot spawn (learn more about them here). Growing triploid oysters allows us to harvest oysters all year long!

How Do We Ensure Safety of Your Oysters?

When it comes to eating oysters in a month that has a R or not it is important that you trust your oyster provider. We have strict guidelines and procedures in place to make certain our oysters are properly handled after harvest. It is all about making it to refrigeration on time and keeping the oysters cool! Once our oysters are harvested we take them straight to our packing facility, wash them, and get them in a commercial refrigerator. We place a TTI (Time Temperature Indicator) to ensure your oysters stay below 50 degrees. To learn more about how we ship oysters, check out our What’s Next blog!


In conclusion, it is safe to eat oysters in months without a R. While the “R-Rule” may have had significance at one point in time, now oysters are always in season. We have made it really easy to eat oysters all year long! You can order oysters in the comfort of your home and have them delivered right to your front door! Check out our online store today to place your order!

oysters without an R in the month
Carolina Gold Oysters