Carcass safety

Keep a deer carcass safe while at camp or in transport.

Deer season is here, so the excitement is just beginning. Let’s say you shot the big buck opening morning, now the work begins. First the pictures are taken, the deer is dressed and you still have seven days before you leave camp. There are a few things that need to be considered to keep your carcass safe for consumption.

Hanging the carcass can assist in cooling the carcass quickly. When cleaning a carcass, Michigan State University Extension recommends using sanitary utensils to lower the risk of cross contamination. It is important to thoroughly cut away any visible contamination. Then rinse the cavity of the deer with cold potable water before storing, this will also help clean away debris and bacterial contamination. To safely store the carcass it must be kept at a temperature of less than 40 degrees F. If it is kept at anything warmer it will allow bacteria to grow. It is advised to transport your carcass to a processor as soon as possible. Packing the cavity with ice is another way to help cool the carcass quickly or for long distance transport.

Aging the meat is a method of enhancing and tenderizing the meat. It is important for a safe method of aging to be used. A safe temperature for aging a carcass is between 34 and 37 degrees F for 10 to 14 days. This will safely assist in allowing the natural aging process take place. Aging meat is done to tenderize and enhance the flavor of the meat.

Carcass safety assists in bringing safe food to the table for everyone to enjoy. Have a safe hunting season.

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