Raccoon Meat?!

March 10th, 2015

Is raccoon meat being sold Temple City, California legal? The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is trying to answer those questions as they investigate whether or not raccoon meat sold by at least two Asian markets is safe to eat. According to Bernard Tolliver, a spokesman for the department, the county discovered that Metro Super Market in Temple City near Los Angeles was selling whole frozen raccoons.” The county eventually expanded its investigation to include other food facilities that reportedly sell the animal for consumption. Tolliver could not say how many markets were included in the investigation.

Raccoon meat is considered “game animal meat” under the California Health and Safety Code. It be sold “as long as it is from an approved source and is not a species of wildlife that is listed as an endangered and threatened animal,” according to a statement from the county department’s Environmental Health Division.

“We’re trying to find out where the raccoons came from,” said Janice Mackey spokeswoman for the state Department of Fish and Wildlife.  “In California, only licensed trappers can trap and sell a raccoon for meat,” Mackey said. When an animal is trapped, the licensed trapper must immediately release it or dispatch it with a firearm, unless prohibited by local ordinances.”


Exotic Meat Market owner Anshu Pathak said that while “it may seem strange to sell raccoons” to the public, raccoon meat is considered a delicacy. “People born in the south – Louisiana and South Carolina – and Asia all enjoy it because they know how to cook it,” said Pathak, who runs a farm in Perris and a retail store in Las Vegas, Nevada. “It is a delicacy for those guys but not for California people.”

Pathak sells raccoon meat at his store and online. He said he only sells skinless raccoon meat, which he gets from a state-certified supplier in South Carolina. Pathak’s raccoons sell for up to $249.99 for a 16- to 20-pound animal. “Raccoon stew meat” costs $39.99 for 16 ounces.


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