Deer Hunting Fun: Don't Get Sick From Venison
Lou Ann Jopp, University of Minnesota Extension
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Thousands of deer
hunters enjoy the yearly ritual. But to keep it enjoyable and reduce
of foodborne illness, hunters need to pay attention to how they field
transport, process and prepare the venison.
the weather is warm, the quality of the venison can be impacted quickly
not handled properly. Harmful bacteria, such as Salmonella and E. coli,
found on raw or undercooked game. E. coli 0157:H7 is the strain that
produce a potent toxin that can cause severe illness, serious
are some food safety guidelines.
disposable plastic gloves to reduce risk of disease exposure.
cutting paunch and intestines; bacteria associated with foodborne
illness may be found in these organs.
dirt, feces, hair and bloodshot areas.
your knife frequently with clean water, pre-moistened wipes, or alcohol
swabs; avoid dragging bacteria into the meat.
out the cavity with paper towels; aid air circulation by propping it
open with a clean stick.
you wash the cavity with water, dry it quickly to prevent spoilage.
quickly to 35-40 degrees Fahrenheit; bacteria multiply rapidly between
sealed in plastic bags and packed into the cavity aid cooling.
the carcass out of direct sunlight.
helps cool the carcass faster.
deboning, discard the brain, spinal cord, eyes, spleen and lymph nodes.
in the kitchen:
meat in a refrigerator; use within two to three days.
occurs if raw meat or its juices come in contact with cooked or
does not kill bacteria, but cooking to 160 F destroys most harmful
bacteria and parasites.
recommendation for making jerky: before dehydrating, heat meat to 160
F, maintain dehydrator temperature at 130-140 F.
ground venison to internal temperatures of at least 160 F; and venison
soups, stews and casseroles to 165 F.
- Freeze no more than four pounds/cubic foot of freezer space
within 24 hours.
- Use food grade containers/wraps -- no garbage bags.
- Never thaw meat at room
is a low acid food and must be canned by a pressure canner for a safe
Extension’s Web site at http://www.extension.umn.edu and click on
information on the safe home canning of fruits, vegetables and meats.
Ann Jopp is a food science educator with the University of Minnesota
|Did You Know?
is an intoxication of the bacteria clostridium
bacteria is anaerobic meaning that it requires an environment
free of oxygen to multiply. It also requires a moist environment and
in the danger zone. The symptoms of botulism are sore throat, vomiting,
blurred vision, cramps, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, and central
system damage (including paralysis). Symptoms usually occur within 12
36 hours. The fatality rate is up to 70%.
sugar, sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate are the commonly used curing
compounds. Salt and sugar
cure meat by osmosis. In addition to drawing the water from the food,
dehydrate and kill the bacteria that make food spoil. In general,
use of the word "cure" refers to processing the meat with either sodium
nitrite or sodium nitrate.
Sodium nitrite and sodium
nitrate are the basis for two
used products: Prague powders #1 and Prague
Prague powder #1 is a
of 1 part sodium nitrite and 16 parts salt. The chemicals are combined
and crystallized to assure even distribution. Even though diluted, only
4 ounces of Prague powder #1 is required to cure 100 lbs of meat. A
typical measurement for home use is 1 tsp per 5 lbs of meat. Prague
#2 is a mixture of 1 part sodium nitrite, .64 parts sodium nitrate and
16 parts salt. It is primarily used in dry-curing.
One other commonly available
curing product is Morton's Tender
It is a mixture of salt, sodium nitrite, sodium nitrate and sugar. Ask
your local butcher or grocer to stock it for you.