The Grapevine

Raccoons Are A Chinese Delicacy, But This California Supermarket Is In Trouble For Selling Them Frozen

raccoon
Frozen raccoons were found at a grocery store in LA. CBS Los Angeles

Raccoons are considered a delicacy in China, but when they’re packaged whole, frozen, then sold at an LA grocery store, Americans are going to be a little weirded out. Mostly because people are used to seeing meat sold as clean pink slices, completely unidentifiable as the animals they used to be – and also because Americans aren’t familiar with eating meat outside of the basic chicken, pork, and beef spectrum.

Metro Super Market, an Asian grocery store in Los Angeles, was caught selling raccoons in its frozen food section, CBS Los Angeles reports. The raccoons, which still had teeth and fur, cost $9.99 a pound — making an entire raccoon cost $54. The supermarket has been peddling the animals for years, employees said.

Health officials discovered the raccoons and confiscated them after a customer came across them in the frozen food section, then filmed it on her phone and uploaded it on social media. “The way it’s packaged in the store, it’s so real, and it’s so fresh, and you don’t see chickens with their feathers and blood all over them, and their expression, with their tongue hanging out,” she told CBS Los Angeles. She also contacted the LA County Health Department about the incident.

Here’s the thing, though: technically, selling raccoons as meat isn’t illegal, as long as it’s from a legitimate source that’s been approved by the Health Department. The raccoons were removed from the store this week, but it’s still under investigation and has yet to be determined whether the frozen raccoons are from a legitimate source.

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