Are chinese mystery snails edible?

Asked March 22, 2015, 1:34 PM EDT

Are Chinese mystery snails edible? I would catch and keep them in a fish tank for a few days to clean them. Then steam the snails, pull them from shells, then cook the snails in a butter and wine sauce. There are a lot of them in a lake/river near my house. Since they are an invasive species, is it ok to just take them?

Marinette County Wisconsin

1 Response

According to one of the seafood listserv answers:

This snail is extensively used as part of the human diet in most places in China because the meat of the snail is considered delicious, being rich in nutrition, with a high content of protein and low fat content. Moreover, in China it is also used as a medicine for treatment of digestive disease.

Li F., Wu N., Lu H., Zhang J., Wang W., Ma M., Zhang X. & Yang X. (2013). "Mid-Neolithic Exploitation of Mollusks in the Guanzhong Basin of Northwestern China: Preliminary Results". PLoS ONE 8(3): e58999. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0058999.

However, I do not have any safety information for safety of this product due to the lack of published information. The safety of the products depend on where they come from because they (snails) can accumulate toxins or other hazards. Professionally I cannot say this is safe to eat because of the lack of safety information. Hope this helps.