Venison is a good-tasting, tender meat and is one of the most prized game meats. Venison is also good for you in comparison to other protein sources:
Whenever preparing food, it is important to follow these four steps to keep your food safe from harmful bacteria.
- Clean: Wash hands and surfaces often. Bacteria can spread throughout the kitchen and get onto cutting boards, utensils, sponges and countertops.
- Separate: Don’t cross-contaminate. Cross-contamination is the scientific word for the spread of bacteria from one food product to another. When handling raw meat, keep these foods and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods. When possible, use separate cutting boards and knives for raw and cooked foods. If separate items are not available, thoroughly wash cutting boards and utensils with soap and water between uses.
- Cook: Cook to proper temperatures. Food safety experts agree that foods are properly cooked when they are heated for a long enough time and at a high enough temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause foodborne illness. To be safe, venison should be cooked to 165 degrees F.
- Chill: Refrigerate promptly. Refrigerate foods quickly because cold temperatures keep harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying. Set your refrigerator no higher than 40 degrees F and the freezer unit at 0 degrees F. Check these temperatures occasionally with an appliance thermometer.
(Adapted from the Fight BAC campaign from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.)