UF/IFAS experts offer wild game processing workshop for hunters

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Hunting can put meat on the family table, and a University of Florida workshop is helping area men and women learn the fine points of bringing that meat home safe and ready to cook or store.

It’s called Wild Game Processing: From Field to Table, a six-hour workshop held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29 at the UF animal sciences department, part of the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

“Proper handling and processing minimizes the risk of foodborne illness and improves the quality and storage life of wild game products for your family,” said Chad Carr, a UF meat science assistant professor. He organizes and leads the workshop, now in its second year.

Carr explained that proper field dressing can minimize the chances of cross-contamination with pathogens from other sources. And proper handling can extend the storage life of wild game products by discouraging bacterial growth.

“We emphasize ‘keep it clean, keep it cold and minimize cross-contamination,’” he said.

The workshop focuses mainly on deer and wild hogs, Carr said, because they’re the most commonly taken large game species in North Florida.

The program includes both lecture material and hands-on demonstrations with deer and hog carcasses. Topics covered include: diseases that can be transmitted from game animals to people, proper field dressing and skinning, game meat safety and quality, butchering, and safe transportation. There will also be a session on sausage processing.

Cost for the workshop is $30 per adult and $20 per youth age 18 or younger, if registered by Sept. 21. After that, there will be an extra $15 fee. Snacks and meat samples will be provided. Space for the event is limited.

To register, visit http://www.animal.ifas.ufl.edu/conferences/documents/wild_game.pdf

For questions about the event, contact Rebecca Matta at rmatta@ufl.edu

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Contacts

Writer: Tom Nordlie, 352-273-3567, tnordlie@ufl.edu

Source: Chad Carr, 352-392-2454, chadcarr@ufl.edu