Wild Game Dinner
Safe Food is Good Business
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Wild game dinners have been held for many years in Minnesota. The Minnesota Department of Health developed guidelines in 1985, which were later incorporated into the Minnesota Food Code. The specific rule pertaining to wild game dinners can be found in part 4626.0160 (C) of the food code. Only nonprofit organizations can hold these events. For profit restaurants cannot sponsor these events.
- Wild game must be lawfully taken and donated.
- Evisceration must be accomplished within two hours after harvest.
- The game animal must be processed in a Minnesota Department of Agriculture licensed meat processing facility.
- There must be a written sanitation procedure to eliminate cross contamination potential from wild game processing to other foods.
- Game is cooked to at least 165°F (74°C).
- Only pure wild game is donated (no sausage or ground meat).
The recipient must obtain a receipt at the time of transfer for donated wild game from the donor and retain this receipt in possession. The donor must prepare this receipt containing the following information:
- name and address of donor;
- name and address of recipient;
- date of transfer;
- description of gift, including number and species; and
- a license number under which the animal was taken.
Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD)
CWD is a fatal brain and nervous system disease of deer and elk caused by an abnormally shaped protein, called a prion. Prions have not been found in muscle meat, even in infected deer. There is no evidence that CWD can be transmitted to humans. The following precautions should be taken with harvested deer and elk:
- only boneless cuts of meat should be used; and
- meat should be processed without splitting the backbone.
Certain parts where prions are known to accumulate should not be eaten, including deer and elk brains, spinal cords, eyes, spleen, tonsils, or lymph glands.
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