In case you are tempted to chomp a raw slug or down some snail sushi, read this first.
I recently came across this article in The New York Times that details the plight of a 21 year old man from Sydney, Australia who came down with a rat lung parasite known as Angiostrongylus cantonensis.
This parasitic nematode, which can cause a fatal swelling of the brain, infects rats, dogs, horses, flying fox bats, kangaroos, slugs and humans.
So definitely add slugs to your list of animals not to eat in your next California or sashimi roll. Man also contracts this parasite by consuming unwashed lettuce that contains tiny slugs. So watch out for careless salad makers too!
I'm teaching medical parasitology now to my medical lab science students at Canisius College. And I love it when parasites make headlines!