November 10, 1999
Hunters Warned of Possible E. coli
Contamination When Field Dressing
Bismark, ND (SafetyAlerts)
- Hunters need to be aware of the potential for contracting a foodborne illness when they
field dress and process their deer, according to Kirby Kruger, epidemiologist with the
North Dakota Department of Health.
coli 0157:H7 bacteria is found in the intestinal tract of animals, and any perforation of
the intestines can result in contamination of the animals meat, Kruger said.
Consumption of that meat can lead to infections that can cause diarrhea,
bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and, in some cases, kidney failure.
infections associated with venison products have been identified in other states. In
Oregon, E. coli was implicated in improperly prepared venison jerky.
avoid infections, hunters should follow these precautions:
wear rubber or latex gloves when field dressing deer.
off and discard any meat that comes into contact with material from the intestinal tract.
carcasses at sufficiently cool temperatures to prevent bacteria from multiplying to
care when processing venison to avoid cross-contamination of knives, cutting boards and
all venison to an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Low-temperature
dehydration or drying methods for making jerky are not sufficient to kill bacteria.
For more information, contact Kirby Kruger, North Dakota
Department of Health, at 701.328.4549.
Source: North Dakota Department of Health
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