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Snail Farming

Heliciculture is the science of snail rearing (or farming).  Edible land snails provide a high protein and low cholesterol food source.  Snails can be raised in a variety of environments, but because of their potential as an invasive species, their enclosures (indoors or outdoors) should be impenetrable.

History of Snail Farming

Edible Snails.  E.W. Rust.  Yearbook of Agriculture 1914. p. 491-503.


"Of Snails" in Roman Farm Management: The Treatises of Cato and Varro. Trans. "A Virginia Farmer," from Varro's Rerum Rusticarum, Libri III. New York: The MacMillan Company, 1913. pp. 325-327. Project Gutenberg e-book edition.

Farming Snails

Regulations, Permits and Restrictions

  • Containment Guidelines for Nonindigenous, Phytophagous Mollusks ( pdf | 33 KB )

    USDA. APHIS. Plant Protection and Quarantine.

    Purpose of the document:  These guidelines are a reference to help design, build, maintain, and operate a facility for nonindigenous, phytophagous mollusks: including Cornu aspersum (Helix aspersa, Cryptomphalus asperses), Cantareus apertus (Helix aperta), Eobania vermiculata (Otala vermiculata), Helix pomatia, and Otala lacteal.

  • Low-acid Canned Food

    USDA. Food and Drug Administration.

    The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates the canning of low-acid foods such as snails. Federal Regulations require commercial processors of shelf stable acidified foods and low-acid canned foods in a hermetically sealed container to be sold in the United States to register each establishment and file scheduled processes with the Food and Drug Administration for each product, product style, container size and type and processing method (21 CFR 108).   Instructions are available on the web site.

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