DHS Reminds Hunters to Thoroughly Cook Wild Game Before Eating

The Wisconsin Department of
Health Services is reminding hunters and their families to make sure any wild
game is handled properly and cooked thoroughly before it’s eaten. 

Over the past
two years, there have been outbreaks of some diseases in Wisconsin
residents who ate undercooked meat that was infected with parasites. Some
illnesses also include salmonella and E. Coli infections. Anyone who becomes
sick after eating wild game should contact their health care provider. 

DHS also recommends:

At harvest:

  • Do not eat wild game or fowl that appeared ill before being killed.
  • Hunters who harvest deer in areas of the state where Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) is known to exist are encouraged to have their deer tested for CWD. If CWD testing is being conducted, do not eat or give away venison until CWD test results are known to be negative.

While processing and prepping:

  • Wear rubber or disposable latex gloves while processing and handling wild game.
  • Carefully remove the intestines to avoid contaminating yourself and the meat with intestinal germs.
  • Wash hands with soap and water after processing game or handling raw meat.
  • Thoroughly clean knives, equipment and surfaces (including tables and cutting boards) that have come into contact with raw meat.
  • Do not eat, drink, or smoke while handling or cleaning wild fowl or game.

While cooking:

  • Cook all wild game (e.g., venison, bear) to a minimum internal temperature of 160°F as measured by a meat thermometer. Color is not a reliable indicator of doneness.
  • Cook all wild fowl (e.g., duck, goose) to a minimum internal temperature of 165°F as measured by a meat thermometer. Color is not a reliable indicator of doneness.
  • Do not rely on freezing, smoking, or curing game meat to make it safe to eat, as these steps may not kill all bacteria and parasites.