Venison Health Risks and Health Related Information

Venison Health Risks Overview

Venison Health RisksAlthough Venison is considered by many to be one of the healthiest meats available, there are some health risks that individuals should take into account when preparing the food. Without the proper care, storage and preparation, Venison meat could pose several health risks in humans. When prepared, processed and served properly, Venison does not pose a high health risk. However, if the correct procedures are not followed properly there are several health risks that individuals may find themselves worrying about. These include parasitic infection, bacteria, elevated levels of purines and toxic lead (if the game is killed with lead bullets).

Bacteria in Venison

If set out to defrost too long, Venison is likely to grow bacteria very quickly. These invisible enemies cannot be seen, smelt or tasted, but pose serious health risks to us if ingested and more often than not lead to sickness. Once the meat has adjusted to room temperature, bacteria begin to grow quickly and can contaminate the game and any surface in contact with the meat such as kitchen counters, knives and other utensils. To prevent bacteria from forming and spreading, avoid setting the deer meat on the counter and instead defrost it using your refrigerator for several hours. This prevents the buildup of bacteria and will maintain the texture of the meat. If this is not an option, you can use a microwave oven, however, be prepared to know that the venison may obtain a tougher and dryer texture after doing so.

Parasites and Tapeworms in Venison

Venison HealthSimilar to other meats, Venison contains many different types of naturally occurring compounds, parasites and tapeworms. Eating fresh or raw deer meat is not recommended and should be avoided at all costs. To prevent parasitic or tapeworm infection, Venison meat should be frozen for a minimum of 24 (preferably 48 hours) prior to eating or processing in order to kill any of these parasites. In the event that the game cannot be frozen, thoroughly cooking it for 160 degrees Fahrenheit will reduce the risk of food borne illness. Using a meat or instant-read food thermometer will help ensure that the game meat has reached a safe temperature high enough to kill any of these harmful microbes.

Purines in Venison

In addition to the health risks associated with parasites, one compound commonly found in this type of meat is a substance called purines, which may cause a health condition known as gout. In addition to the possibility of causing gout, purines also may cause the formation of kidney stones. With this said, individuals who are at risk of gout or who have kidney problems should halt or limit the ingestion of Venison in order to prevent future or further health complications. For more information about this topic, please consult with your doctor or medical professional to see if you are at risk for kidney stones or gout.

Lead in Venison

One common misconception individuals have about Venison is the health risk associated with eating game that has been hunted using traditional ammunitions, which are typically made of lead. A study published in 2008 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed what many individuals all over the world have expected for quite some time, which is that hunting with traditional lead based ammunition does not pose any health risks or adverse effects on people, including children. When properly processed, the trace amounts of lead found in the meat will cause no harm.

Although lead is one of the most thoroughly studied toxicants, recent research suggests that levels found in deer meat hunted with lead ammunition poses no elevated health risks and is safe for human consumption. Still, individuals should use caution and follow proper procedures when processing, cleaning and preparing deer meat. To be safe, children under six years of age and pregnant women should not consume Venison, unless hunted using non-lead based ammunition.

Venison Health Risks – Conclusion

In conclusion, although there are some health risks that may be associated with the consumption of game meat, many of these risks can be easily avoided. With the proper preparation, processing and cooking, these health risks can be easily minimized. Using techniques found in this article, individuals can take steps to ensure that their venison will minimize these risks and prevent the occurrence of such problems and ailments.