Safe Handling Instructions

Safe Storage of Foods

  • Cook or freeze fresh beef, veal, lamb, venison or pork within 3 to 5 days.

  • Keep meat in its package until just before using.

  • Meat defrosted in the refrigerator may be refrozen before or after cooking. If thawed by other methods, cook before refreezing.

Thaw Food Safely

  • A refrigerator allows slow, safe thawing. Make sure thawing juices do not drip on other foods.

  • For faster thawing, place food in a leak-proof plastic bag and submerge in cold tap water.

  • If using a microwave to defrost, cook meat or poultry immediately after thawing.

Safe Food Preparation

  • Use separate cutting boards. You should also clean all cooking utensils after they come into contact with raw meat. Different utensils should be used to serve food than prepare it

  • Sanitize cutting boards often in a solution of 1 teaspoon chlorine bleach in 1 quart of water. Wash kitchen towels and cloths often in hot water in washing machine.

  • Don’t cross-contaminate. Keep raw meat, poultry, fish, and their juices away from other food. After cutting raw meats, wash hands, cutting board, knife, and counter tops with hot soapy water.

  • Marinate meat in a covered dish in the refrigerator.

  • Prepare the meat on a separate surface from other cooking materials. Germs spread easily. It’s particularly important to keep vegetables and other ingredients away from meat, especially if you are not cooking them together in the same dish.


Do not apply these cooking times or this advice to wild shot venison or home killed venison. Duncan NZ Venison cannot provide advice on cooking venison which has not been produced in licensed abattoirs under veterinary supervision.

Like other meat, venison is a potential source of toxoplasmosis, which can be harmful to unborn babies and those with weakened immune systems. Like other meat, venison should therefore not be eaten raw or under-cooked during pregnancy or by people with weakened immune systems. 

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