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Tips to Ensure Venison is Safe for Consumption
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“Keeping the carcass cool is an important first step to maintain venison’s safety for consumption,” said Jeannine Schweihofer, MSU Extension meat quality educator. “When temperatures are more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, multiple steps may be necessary to prevent the carcass from spoiling.”


Source: Michigan State University, College of Agriculture and Natural Resources

Contact: Beth Stuever at 517-432-1555, ext. 105

 

MSU Extension Offers Tips to Ensure Venison is Safe for Consumption


Did you spend opening day in the woods looking for that dream buck? Regardless of when hunters bring home their deer, Michigan State University (MSU) Extension wants to ensure hunters’ efforts are not wasted and their venison stays fresh.

“Keeping the carcass cool is an important first step to maintain venison’s safety for consumption,” said Jeannine Schweihofer, MSU Extension meat quality educator. “When temperatures are more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit, multiple steps may be necessary to prevent the carcass from spoiling.”

According to Schweihofer, hunters can use many techniques to keep a deer carcass cool. You can insert bags of ice or clean snow in the carcass to prevent spoiling. Gut the carcass before transporting back to a hunting camp or home. Upon arrival, hang the carcass and remove the hide.

Because deer typically do not have much fat cover, Schweihofer suggests letting the carcass hang for not more than two to three days to age before cutting it up into meals. If temperatures are not consistently below 40 F, refrigerate the animal immediately.

“It’s important that whoever prepares the carcass wear rubber gloves and keep knives clean while skinning and gutting the deer to maintain the safety of venison,” Schweihofer said. “Keeping tools clean will only help so much; hunters must also be sure to avoid cutting through intestines and internal organs during removal.”

Being prepared will help reduce the spreading of dirt and fecal material. Have clean water, disposable wipes and paper towels on hand to keep knives and the carcass clean throughout the process.

Visit MSU Extension News at www.news.msue.msu.edu to find out more information about meat preparation, food safety and other agricultural information. MSU Extension News features helpful articles about various topics submitted by MSU Extension experts throughout the state.