Oysters tend to be quite polarizing. Some love their rich, briny ocean flavor. Some can’t stand their slimy texture. Some…eat 48 of them in one sitting? At least, that’s what one woman did in a (profanity-laced) viral TikTok video shot at Fontaine’s Oyster House in Atlanta. To many novice bivalve eaters, this may seem like a rather exorbitant serving size. Or as one TikTok commenter put it, "I'm sorry but 48 oysters as an appetizer got me screaming."

Because this is the internet, people also criticized the woman for apparently leaving an $11 cash tip on a $185 check. But Kelcey Flanagan, the manager of the oyster bar, came to her defense. "People have been roasting this poor girl…she was nice,” Flanagan told Rolling Stone, “I just hope she's not getting too much flak." In a later (also profanity-laced) video, the woman showed the receipt from her dinner, which indicates she left an additional $15 tip via credit card. Also, the woman's date apparently left without paying the bill, so you can hardly blame her for being a bit salty.

But let's get back to the 48 oysters. That’s…a lot of oysters, right? But according to the restaurant, this substantial serving of shellfish is hardly noteworthy. Flanagan told Rolling Stone four-dozen oysters is "nothing new for us," adding that customers have been known to put away six-dozen oysters apiece, and at an oyster eating competition one brave eater consumed a staggering 15 plates of bivalves. "I will say, it had been a minute since I had a single female eat that many," Flanagan added. "But then, you know, she was eating crackers and things like that. But yeah, she put it away. It's pretty impressive." Consider me starstruck.

Is it safe to eat 48 oysters?

To the average shellfish consumer, the idea of eating nearly 50 oysters feels pretty out there. This begs the eternal question, how many oysters is too many oysters? Some would consider a typical serving to be a piddly six, maybe 12 if you’re feeling ambitious. But people have been putting away much more substantial portions of oysters for millennia. There’s evidence of human shellfish consumption dating to 164,000 years ago, and in the late 1800s, America experienced an “oyster craze,” with the average New Yorker eating 600 oysters per year. Unfortunately, due to overharvesting, habitat loss, and health scares, oyster consumption has dramatically declined. Nowadays, per capita American oyster consumption is in the single digits.

The biggest health risk associated with oyster consumption is food poisoning, due to the fact that oysters are often eaten raw. But if you trust your oyster purveyor (and your digestive system), four dozen oysters really shouldn’t be a problem. In fact oysters are quite healthy — they’re a rich source of many vitamins and micronutrients which can be beneficial for brain and bone health, according to WebMD. Plus, sustainably grown oysters can actually benefit the environment.

Oysters often get a bad rap, but they actually deserve much more appreciation. They’re sustainable, nutritious, environmentally friendly, and dare I say delicious. Personally, I’ve been inspired to incorporate more oysters into my life. Maybe not 48 though.