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Food Safety with Wild Meat

Hunting is a way of life for many people.  We would like to remind hunters of the importance of handling and cooking wild meat properly to prevent foodborne illness, such as Trichinosis which can be found in many different species of animals.

Trichinosis is an infection caused by eating raw or undercooked meat from infected animals.  In particular, swine, dogs, cats, horses and many wild animals including fox, wolf, bear and moose.  It is not transmitted person to person. 

Symptoms of the infection may range from mild symptoms such as abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting and or diarrhea to more severe symptoms such as fever, myalgia, swelling, hives and cardiac and neurological complications and usually appear about 8-15 days after eating the infected meat.

Prevention and Treatment:

Trichinosis can be prevented by proper handling and cooking of pork and wild game to a minimum of 71°C.  A meat thermometer should be used to verify internal cooking temperatures as colour is not a good indicator of doneness.  Smoking and curing meats will not kill the parasite. 

If a person thinks they have trichinosis, they should seek medical attention and mention the consumption of undercooked or wild meat to their health care provider.

For more information on trichinosis or on food handling in general, please call (705) 267-1181 or 1 (800) 461-1818.