Food Safety Issues/deer meat


My son shot a deer and put the meat in the refrigerator immediately. The deer has been ground and still refrigerated. Is it to late to freeze it? Probably killed around 11/25/12 and today it 12/10/12.

Hi Sandy,

Yes, any ground meat -- not just deer -- should be frozen within 2-3 days of slaughter or purchasing from the grocery store. With the ground meat now being over 15 days in the refrigerator it should definitely not be cooked and consumed.

It is recommended that all deer meat be immediately frozen upon processing and kept solidly frozen for 48 hours before consuming. It is not recommended to consume fresh, never frozen, deer meat. Freezing kills any parasites that may be present in wild meat.

For research-based information on how to handle a deer, I suggest your son read the following:

Happy Holidays.


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Carol Schlitt


I can answer questions on home food safety, sanitation and home food preservation.


I am a former Extension educator, nutrition, wellness and food safety, having retired August 1, 2010. I am a food safety instructor for the Illinois Department of Public Health, a ServSafe Instructor/Proctor and have my own company, Safe & Savory Solutions, Inc -

National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (Past President and current Historian), St. Louis Culinary Society.

BS - University of Illinois MS - Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville

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