Banned: The animals are prohibited in the U.S. because they can carry parasites that are harmful to humans. They a perfectly legal to sell in much of the rest of the world, however, including Britain

Sixty seven living snails were reportedly discovered inside a passenger’s luggage at the airport and guess what?

These Molluscs were banned in the U.S. for carrying parasites harmful to humans. They are legal in most of the world – and even a delicacy in West Africa, especially Nigeria. 


After being inspected by federal agents the snails were killed by incineration.

Inspectors at the  Los Angeles International Airport were said to have seized the unusually slimy package – 67 giant African land snails that are a popular delicacy across West Africa after  being sent to a person in San Dimas, California.

Spokeswoman for the U.S. Customs and Border protection Lee Harty made this known.

The snails were confiscated earlier this month and a sample was later sent to a federal mollusc specialist in Washington, D.C., who has now identified them as a prohibited species.
The molluscs are among the largest land snails in the world and can grow to be up to 8 inches long. They are native to Africa and can live for up to 10 years.
 Harty said The U.S. Department of Agriculture incinerated the snails after they were inspected. She added that  ‘These snails are seriously harmful to local plants because they will eat any kind of crop they can get to.
The person the snails were destined for is not expected to face any punishment as it is always difficult to prove that a person has ordered or requested items that are sent to them.
 … fried snail a delight in Nigeria.

It is also very rare for a criminal case to be pursued if there is little evidence of professional smuggling and the culprit claims not to know that the legal status of the prohibited items.
The authorities are launching a formal investigation into the incident, however, if only to establish why such a large batch of snails was sent to a single person.
She stressed that when someone doesn’t know a commodity is prohibited under USDA regulations, there is usually no punishment,’
 Although the agency has previously found one or two giant African land snails that gave accidentally crawled into a passenger’s luggage, this is the largest batch ever confiscated at LAX airport.
 The animals are prohibited in the U.S. because they can carry parasites that are harmful to humans, including one that can lead to meningitis.
They are perfectly legal to sell in much of the rest of the world, including Britain.



Giant African land snails are considered a delicacy in much of West Africa.
The are particularly enjoyed in Nigeria, from where the LAX package was sent.
The snails are commonly served as finger food in Nigeria, but need to be thoroughly washed to ensure all parasites are killed.
They are typically removed from their shell and cut in half to kill them, before being washed in a mixture of salt, lemon and alum gum – which removes the slime.
The snails are placed into a pot and brought to the boil, then left to simmer for an hour to tenderise the meat.


While this takes place, a separate pot is used to pan-fry onions, peppers and tomatoes, with enough water added to create a kind of vegetable stew.
The tender snails are then added to the stew along with salt for seasoning, and the whole mixture is then cooked for another 20-30 minutes.
The low-calorie, low-cholesterol dish is then typically served with rice and eaten by scooping up small amounts in the hand.

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